Communicating properly

“We’re all islands shouting lies to each other across seas of misunderstanding.”

Last weekend We’ve had one of those family reunions again. In case of my family, this means shallow conversations, lot’s of political play and inappropriate humour with the purpose to steer conversations away from serious subjects, like the slowly dying family ties, personal grievances and so on. Work is a topic everyone is willing to venture because it is the perfect opportunity for anyone to vent their frustrations and brag about their personal achievements.

Conversations ranging from silly jokes to the misfortunes that overcome their friends, to weather forecasts and holiday plans. Peppered by their personal judgment on any real or imagined injustices that have been done to them such as not recognizing their full potential at work assuming they are more capable of improving the whole company policy a lot better than the current management.

Among my family members, remarkably enough, the only one who behaves normally (as normal as normal can go) is my granny. She’s the one who dares to say what she means and mean what she says without unnecessary flavour and beating around the bushes sans pardon what others might think or how they will react. If only they will follow her suit then it will improve the flow of communication and will probably bridge the ever growing gap between us relatives.

The reason for this ongoing miscommunication I think is the lack of trust. Funny how it may sound I never witnessed any sign of that in my family both sides. The only thing that’s important for them is to compete with each other about their achievements, financial status and material things in general. Tragic isn’t it?

Which reminds me of the general behaviour I witness at work these days, colleagues trying to outdo each other telling stories about everything and nothing in particular. Co-workers listening, nodding their head politely but you can see the doubt in their eyes. Why do you think they don’t dare to voice out their real opinions in public? Because nobody wants to rock the boat. God knows where it will bring them.

In my opinion the optimum manner to establish strong connection with each other is to be out in the open about your thoughts in general within boundary of course. Like the best way to build a team is to share personal values with each other. We tend to trust individuals who openly share their best experiences and their hardships with us. Sharing ideas is a good foundation to establish future relationship and far more efficient than formal techniques like ideaboxes, personal reviews, task planning meetings and so on…

So when you’re managing a team remember, you have to manage the communication in order to make sure that they start to truly understand the worries, strengths and ideas of individuals in the team. They have to feel like respected family members, who will still be family members after they made a mistake. As a manager you have to set the example! You will also share your doubts and ideas with the team, communicate openly and make sure all team members can do so. Building trust is making sure you show them you care about their problems, recognize their differences and make sure they understand each other!

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