Management Consulting Tip: Avoiding Communication Breakdowns

Even though communication is the lifeblood of an organization, it’s difficult to find a company that doesn’t have its momentary communication breakdowns. As I work with clients, there is an overwhelming majority that attributes failures within their business to inadequate communications. Part of a manager’s job is to keep these communication issues to a minimum. Here are three ways to ensure employees understand and communicate well:

1. Provide context. For people to understand a message, they have to know why it’s important. Give people enough information so they know where things fall on the
priority list. Give them the why.

2. Encourage questions. Don’t just ask if people have questions, encourage them to raise honest concerns. This type of interaction helps people absorb information and understand messages so they can pass them on.

3. Stay connected. People respond to communications very differently, even when they’re hearing the same information. By being in tune with your employees, you can anticipate their reactions and better understand how to deliver messages – ask “are we on the same page?”

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