The Power of Real Communication

May 16, 2012 — 37 Comments
The Power of Real Communication | Joseph Lalonde

Have you ever been at a company where there’s little interaction with your boss?

You may chit-chat and say hello, talk about the weather, or the kids. Something is missing.

The chit-chat rarely leads to a conversation about your job, your aspirations, and how you’re doing.

Image by Ed Yourdon

That something is real communication.

Communication is defined as: The imparting or exchanging of information or news.

Real communication goes deeper than this definition.

It involves taking the time to get to know the employees. Finding out their dreams and passions. If things are going well at work. If their job is still fulfilling.

Uncovering these issues is vital to the continuing growth of your organization.

Here are three steps that you can take to probe deeper and show your employees that you are open to communication:

  • Schedule a regular, one-on-one meeting
    By scheduling a regular meeting, you and your employees have a time frame in which to come up with pertinent questions.
     
    You may ask: Are you feeling fulfilled? What other responsibilities would you like to have? Where do you see yourself in five years?

    Your employees may ask: How is the company doing? What opportunities are there for advancement? What else can I do for you?

    While this type of meeting can be effective, it’s one of my least favorite. The first couple of meetings may put your employees on edge. They’ll be unsure of the landscape and the true reason for the meeting.

    Keep at it though and the benefits can be huge.

  • Take an employee out to lunch
    You cannot go wrong with this one. What employee doesn’t like to be taken out and treated to lunch?
     
    The employee feels like he’s getting a special treat. The setting is neutral and comfortable. It’s the perfect environment to ask questions and discuss work.

  • Have a seat at their desk
    Swing by their desk and have a seat in the visitor’s chair.
     
    By being on the other side of the desk, your employee will feel more at ease and, possibly, in control of the conversation. This is great for you.

    When they feel like they’re in control of the conversation, they’re willing to be more honest and open about the situations they’re facing on the job. Take the time and listen. Respond when it’s necessary, otherwise let them tell you what’s going on.

Decide today how you’re going to open the lines of communication with your employees. Create a action plan and begin to implement the strategy.

There’s a power in real communication. When you have real communication, you’ll notice a change in your employees. Their productivity may rise, the atmosphere of the office may change, or a sense of camaraderie may form.

Question: How has a lack of communication affected you in your organization? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

And congratulations to the winner of As One Devil To Another, Larry Carter. I’ll be sending him a coupon to redeem for his free copy of the book.

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  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    I’ve worked with both types of employers and I definitely like working for and with someone who takes an interest in my life. I hope I invest the same time in others lives- I know I try.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      From what I’ve seen TC, you’re investing in others lives. Through your blog and other ministries. Keep it up!

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Thanks Joe, just always feel there is more to do!

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I have seen this between the company and the independant contractors where I work. All they do is bark out orders, even though these guys have paid $200,000 to buy in. They’re suppose to be business owners but if they don’t do what the company says, they get scared into doing it. The moral is super low, and I don’t believe anyone is putting in their best effort because of it.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That sounds like a downer Kimanzi. Sounds like the company is unwilling to delegate and let the owners do what is needed.

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    If time is one of our most valuable commodities, we should always let the other people in our lives know it by spending it with them. Communication takes time, give your generously!!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Amen Chris!

  • http://deuceology.wordpress.com Larry Carter

    There are some that it will take little ro communicate with. Others will be tough to crack. Keep at it. And I look forward to the book.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      You’re welcome Larry. I know you’ll enjoy it!

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    Three great ways to connect with your people.

    My current job has poor communication. Upper management does not communicate to lower level employees. I can walk by the directer and she would not even say hi or know my name. My direct supervisor does very little to connect with me and the other employees. Its bad. It’s another reason why I’m looking for a new job.

    Great post.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That can be frustrating Dan. It’s actually what brought on this post of mine. For the last year or so the communication at my workplace has been lacking. Then I was called into the office of our president and we talked about situations at work, where things were headed, etc.. It put the spark of hope back into me.

      I’ll be praying that the proper job comes to you or that you are able to create something that will produce the income you need.

      • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

        It is frustrating. I’m just trying to do my best and have a good attitude until I get a different job. It’s great the president took the initiative to do that, it shows he notices your work and that your a leader.

        Thanks for your prayers. I know I’m putting in the work to find a job and it’s only a matter of time before God opens the door.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    This is huge because I have also been in this position. I was the employee and the boss and I would just speak but not really communicate and to take it a step further we also had serious run ins. I continued to pray for guidance on how to handle the situation and GOD had to remind me of how he was treated during his journey, so I learned humility that day in prayer.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sounds like you handled the situation well Lincoln. Bringing it to God in prayer and letting the situation play out. Did it ever improve?

      • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

        Joe, it never did but I was comfortable with knowing I prayed about it. Thank you.

  • http://www.theanalogoustruth.wordpress.com/ Arny

    My boss does all these things to her employees…i don’t know if it has to do her being a woman…but it’s cool..she even takes in our ideas…

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      That’s great Arny. Sounds like you’ve got a great boss.

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Wow, Joe! These are some great suggestions for improving communication in my own office situation. Thanks!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Jon, hope you’re able to use them to improve the communication in your office situations. Which one do you think will help out the most?

      • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

        I think I need to take a seat in the cube’s of my direct reports. Usually, we meet over in my office or in a conference room.

  • http://aparchedsoul.com Grayson Pope (A Parched Soul)

    I really like the ideas here. I have around 20 direct reports, and I find it hard to connect with them. There’s so many of them and only one of me and it seems they get lost in the shuffle sometimes, which I’m not prod of. Thanks for the advice!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      It happens Grayson. We’re not superman when it comes to dealing with those under us. Do your best and they’ll appreciate it.

  • Jim Wu

    never look forward to your communication method.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Jim, what don’t you like about it?

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