Friday, January 17, 2014

Communication... Clarity That's Taken Place

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it's taken place.”   - George Bernard Shaw

Those familiar with American Society for Training & Development's most infamous trademark, Telling Ain't Training, just might find themselves smiling as they hear a familiar ring in Shaw's quip from a loftier view. That same smile took me by surprise today, as I dove into Nannette Rundle Carroll's The Communication Problem Solver, letting those managing teams on the ground know, with no illusions, what good workplace communication really is... and what it ain't. Rare is the author who can play communication as a real contact sport ~ and Carroll's one great coach who expects all her players to stay on the same winning team.

For those on their own winning streak from having asked last week's 10 great questions at a recent interview, Carroll shows your luck can keep on rolling just as long as it all stays open, honest, and has ~ as she provides us the unique spreadsheet tools ~ taken place... with no better time and place than right now to open up discussions of performance expectations and the authorities needed to create a winning team.

No need to wait for it... you can create for it!
A proponent of what she terms "turbo-charged clarity," Carroll reminds us that communication, the kind that actually takes place, must become a part of your real, usable day, as the illusions drop away and bring your potential clearly into focus, all within the simple format of an excel template she graciously provides. As you work through your spreadsheet, Carroll suggests each task is simply tagged with the level of authority the worker and their manager can agree upon, and although this can, after a while, create a quite a handful of questions and choices, just keep in mind the longer that list of responsibilities becomes ~ all the more important! To paraphrase a well-known quip about the value of education: if you think clarity is troublesome, just try confusion.

Your own turbo-list will have many unique responsibilities which can be added, some
deleted; yet regardless of whether you're now the Chief of Staff or Chief Bottle Washer, it'll show your manager you're fully on board for effective communication and just as
committed to high performances as ~ just maybe ~ you're now teaching them to be, as well!

So what could you have to lose by raising your communication to a level past tellin', except, maybe, just some old communication failures themselves? Well... go ahead, then and give it a ring... and who knows, the kind of clear communication you've been listening for... just might take place!