When It Comes To Communication – Don’t Stick Your Head In The Sand
As a small business owner I am often on the look out for associate opportunities and as part of this I subscribe to an associate alerts service which highlights opportunities to pitch for work in my specialist areas.
Last week an alert arrived in my inbox and I read with interest the person specification and the problem that needed to be solved…
The task in hand was to work with an established team, which has one person who might best be described as a ‘fly in the ointment’. This type of character will be familiar to those who have experienced colleagues like this in the past and/or at present but hopefully not in the future.
Their poor communication skills, low emotional intelligence and limited self awareness is, to all intents and purposes, creating problems within the business and the organisation as a whole runs the risk of people exiting the business through frustration.
This is a costly and disruptive process to go through and comes about as a direct result of ignoring communication issues within a team until they become almost insurmountable.
Of course this is a situation that can be improved with training, some personal and team coaching and some emotional intelligence awareness education.
Using a variety of tools and techniques that’s precisely what I offer to businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors. Tailoring support with the whole team to explore how to smooth over past frustrations, improve relationships and promote harmonious working in the future can all be done and once everyone appreciates and understands what is expected of them and how best to achieve it, normal service can be resumed.
But, and it’s a big BUT, this got me thinking…
Why do so many companies wait until this is a problem before addressing it? Why do they allow it be grow until it gets ‘legs’?
It takes on an identity all of its own and when nobody is brave enough or skilled enough to challenge current behaviour and explore new ways of working together it grows like Topsy.
Of course, not every day is plain sailing, in the words of Rag n Bone Man, ‘We’re only human after all‘, but trying to sweep things under the carpet in the hope they will disappear of their own accord is neither realistic nor cost effective.
Quite apart from ensuring that the interview process is robust and that people are brought into the business who will be a good fit with the existing team, it is vital that we set clear values, opportunities for communication and perhaps most importantly the opportunity for people to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns in a safe and creative environment without fear of retribution?
If you find yourself in this situation then my advice to you would be to do the following:
- Get everything out in the open.
- Take time to identify working styles and communication preferences.
- Set clear values for the organisation.
- Provide regular opportunity for team discussion.
- Lead by example.
- Don’t stick your head in the sand.
If you have a situation like this but don’t know where to begin to unravel it, then please get in touch for a FREE NO OBLIGATION one hour consultation.
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