17 Jan Effective communications are self-reflective
As I stated in previous posts, a Change Management strategy that seeks a truly positive and sustainable transformation cannot base its action plan solely on communication and training. These are both necessary but insufficient by themselves. In this article, I would like to share some thoughts about communication.
To communicate is not to inform
The importance of communication is indisputable. The amount of discussions about it proves it. How we communicate, when we communicate, what we should improve in our communication, what channels we should use …
However, beyond all these discussions -and even when organizations insist that they give importance to internal communication plans- when an organization initiates a transformation, it does not usually communicate the change, but inform it.
Communication is expressing an idea, listening carefully and quietly while observing the gestures, asking by paraphrasing to ensure everything is being understood, reflecting and re-thinking the initial idea with new arguments or new expressions … It is a round trip; It is giving and receiving openly.
But what I usually see is that companies “push” the idea. They say. They express how good the change is. But they don’t listen or reflect.
The ability to communicate with the people is the key
It is true that there are organizations that have highly effective communication processes, and in some cases, they have all the management and middle management “communicating”, which means transmitting and receiving. But unfortunately, these companies are the least.
The vast majority of organizations put the emphasis on installing numerous channels, which are basically broadcast channels, and do not promote the reception or the rigor in measuring the results.
The communication plans are the heroes, the ones that are put in the center, while the levels of mutual understanding and consideration of the impact on the employees are forgotten.
A clear example of this is in the numerous courses for middle managers, in which they are taught to communicate better with their people. And yet, nobody listens to them when they put in evidence organizational obstacles to communication.
Communication requires as much emphasis on what is said and how it is said, as on how it is heard and how we react to what has been heard. And we need to understand that messages are for the people as individuals and also as members of the organization.
Therefore, the installation of receiving channels and the rapid reflection, dialogue, and action as a result of them must be part of the communication campaigns of the organizations.
Author: Raúl Molteni