Dozens of times each week when business leaders come to my website to download my report on “The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication” they submit a “communication” issue they say they want to fix in their organization.
Yet, it is only a small percentage that take that wish to the next step and order a private, 1:1 Strategy Session with me to identify specific solutions.
In playing around on Facebook over the weekend one of my friends posted this quote that reminded me of why such a small percentage follow through to the next step:
“Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.” Mark L. Feldman & Michael F. Spratt (from their book Five Frogs On a Log) .
That’s right! I should have remembered that! There is always a gap between deciding and doing, or wanting and acting.
So, I thought I would help those with communication issues occurring in their work environment to evaluate the severity of the impact on the company performance.
I’ve identified 3 levels to grade the communication issues occurring in your work environment that you may believe need “fixing:”
Workplace Impact Level 1 = Distraction
At this level the communication issues occurring in your work environment have a tendency to divide attention or prevent concentration during the workday, causing people to duplicate efforts, redo tasks early in the process and doesn’t necessarily lead
to significant costs or losses, but could. if not fixed in a reasonable timeframe.
Workplace Impact Level 2 = Debilitating
At this level the communication issues occurring in your work environment is beginning to weaken your organization from the inside out. Projects begin to fall behind schedule, deadlines are missed intermittently, excuses are being made to customers and people have to cover up for each other because of mis-communication. This is when leaders begin to hear more excuses than see results. Trust in the workplace begins to erode and leaders begin to get a sense of uncertainty as to what the real issues are keeping the company from growing as it should.
If issues are not addressed at this level, it will rapidly fall into level 3.
Workplace Impact Level 3 = Damaging & Destructive
This is where the impact is palpable. Revenues are down, expenses are up, employee and customer retention levels are low and there is a very negative, toxic work environment. Employees are in survival mode just looking out for themselves and regularly “throw co-workers under the bus.”
Unfortunately, most business leaders don’t take action until they are at the Level 3:Damaging and Destructive. As with most things it is much more expensive and harder to resolve when it gets to that level. Imagine if you were to create a culture of positive communication throughout your organization where every conversation began with “positive intent” and was focused on always building trust between individuals and throughout the team?
Anyway, when you think about the communication issues you would like to fix in your work environment, measure them against the 3 D’s above and begin identifying strategies to turn them around.
There are 21-different ways to easily impact workplace communication – if you want to work on improving your leadership communication you may want to consider joining me for this year long communication mentoring program.
’til next time, make it a great week!