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Communication and Mentoring

 

 

 

 

I keep hearing stories of organizations that do not communicate well. They are either too busy or just can’t be bothered. Both of these are just excuses and the precursor to bigger problems down the road. Poor communication that is nurtured is like pouring all kinds of water on a patch of earth already infested with weeds. Eventually the weeds take ownership of that space. Picture that scenario in your organization. You don’t communicate well or not at all and this nurtures a culture riddled with problems that impact a number of things. You can change this story to a more positive one.

Communicating effectively appears to be a dying art or technique. A lot of the work that I am doing as a mentor involves working with people to change or enhance their communication skills. A lot of these people are client facing and therefore creating an image of that organization that is more than likely not one that we want to leave in the memory bank of any client.

What are some of the outcomes of poor communication in an organization? Usually employee morale is one of the first things that is affected. Employees eventually get to a stage where they go through the motions. It is a paycheque and that is all. Once morale starts to decline the impact is felt internally and externally and unless addressed will continue to spiral downwards. Conflict within the organization begins to increase. Water cooler banter takes on a completely different persona. Employees who normally are highly productive begin to make errors. Managers do not communicate well, if at all what needs to be done. The goals of the organization are not clear to the employees and managers assume that because they know where the organization is going that the employees do as well.

Once things begin to spiral downward you have increased employee turnover. Hiring of new employees becomes a challenge as no one wants to come and work at this organization. “The word on the street” is this is an organization that is spiralling downwards and it is not a place to work. This comes to the attention of potential clients who then seek out the competition in order to get the products and services that they require. Employee absenteeism increases as employees have increased health issues due to the impact that all this negativity has on their well-being. I have worked with a number of people that have been immersed in this very same story and the impact that it had on their health was unbelievable. No one should have to suffer like that.

If we are miserable in the work place then our clients/customers will take notice in the decline in service. The attitude permeates throughout the organization and can’t help be noticed. I have worked with a couple of organizations where this was quite evident. It needed to be addressed but sadly was not to the extent that it needed to be. Clients did walk down the street to the competition.

Effective communication plays a huge role in the success of any change management initiative. Once again this is something that we do not do well. We do not communicate to the people that are going to be impacted – we do not listen and hear what is being said. We may be listening but are we actually hearing what is being said. Using a trained mentor as the change mediator can help in the communication and change management processes to address this.

I have worked with a number of employees and their organizations to address the communication challenges. Whether it be part of day to day operations or as a change management initiative we have identified areas for improvement in how we listen, hear and communicate. Providing tools that enable success in communicating ensures that our employees can be productive and engaged in the success of the organization. Seeing the look on their face when they use these tools successfully is all that matters. Watching them think how something will be received before speaking or sending what they are thinking is a tool that most of us don’t have. Once we master this technique we can have those tough conversations with confidence and minimize the conflict.

Reach out to a mentor to acquire the communication tools that you want for your tool box. A trained mentor can and will make a difference in your life. “The Gift of Mentoring” is a powerful one but only if you make it a part of your life. “Can you afford not to?”

References:

  1. https://www.thebalance.com/communication-skills-list-2063779
  2. http://duanewille.com/the-effects-of-poor-communication-in-the-workplace/
  3. http://www.businessperform.com/workplace-communication/poor-communication-costs.html