Is your Organisation Guilty of These Communication Sins?
Why do things, even very simple ones, so often go wrong in organisations? Usually it’s a matter of miscommunication. And, as organisational scholar Chris Argyris points out, the perpetrators are often senior manages who actually have very strong communication skills. When they want to avoid commitment — and responsibility — these managers may deliberately send mixed messages to their organisation, in a way that cuts off debate and, in the end, sows confusion.
How do you rate your communication? Here are four ways in which communication can be sabotaged by managers. Is your organisation guilty of one or more of these communication sins?
- Designing and communicating a message that is clearly ambiguous. For example Be innovative and take risks but be careful.
- Ignoring all inconsistencies in the message – particularly when it is a spontaneous message.
- Making the ambiguity and inconsistencies in the message undiscussable.
- Making the undiscussability also undiscussable. For example, sending the mixed message in a setting that is not conducive to open inquiry, such as a large meeting or to a group of people of unequal status.
Why don’t you contact us to discuss ways in which you can improve communication performance in your organisation? Talk to us soon.