Communication can drain out poison

Communication is one of the key areas for any organization. Be it the case of how team members communicate amongst themselves, team leader conveying the message of increased target or leaders announcing major change within the organization which might affect a number of employees. However, as your profile becomes bigger, more important and your formal influence increases within the organization, slowly it becomes a vital element for a long-term success.

However, despite the importance of communication and it’s direct impact on the performance of organization, it quite common to see the lack of communication happening in many organizations. Many a times organizations and leaders choose to ignore this vital component. This happens because of many reasons e.g. lack of awareness of the importance of communication, work pressure, working style of people and lots of other reasons. Although ignored, the undercurrent that this sets in can have far-reaching negative impact.

Lack of communication directly impacts the relationships among workers. As we understand, an organization is a team working together for a purpose. We cannot expect this team to function in a cohesive manner now when there is little or no communication happening. Let’s check out the direct implications of lack of communication:

• People stop complaining (and it is quite normal, in fact healthy, for team members to complain) even if they are not happy with certain things and it keeps growing within them.

• People do not express their expectations because of lack of communication.

• Those who are able to see the negativity spreading also choose not to discuss this.

• Invisible shield starts growing around people and they become indifferent to the demands of organization and their job. The bigger these shields grow, more collision will happen when they are walking around or passing by each other.

One important thing about relationship is that it can either be good or bad. Very occasionally, and that too with lots of effort, you see people managing relationships which is not actually healthy as the focus and energy is on avoiding conflict. True in marriages gone wrong, family relationships gone wrong, relationship between bosses and their team member gone wrong.

In this case, by ignoring to encourage proper communication flow, the organization has dug its own grave, the direct impact of relationship going sour is that work will be impacted and sometimes it can be in a big way.

Best things an organization can do in such cases are:
• First identify that it could be because of lack of proper communication. Most of the times we never realize that simple things like communication or lack of it can create a big mess.

Like John Gardner rightly said :
“Most ailing organizations have developed a functional blindness to their own defects. They are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems, but because they cannot see their problems.”

• Second, slowly open channels of communication which will drain out all the negativity. So, this would mean that to put something positive, we will first need to clean the stinking negativity which has been created over a long period of time.

• Third, slowly use proper communication tools and channels to dissolve the negativity and replace this with positive feelings of trust and openness.

• Four, constantly work on building a culture of openness, tolerance and trust and keep reinforcing these ideas till it becomes an integral part of your organizational culture.

Best Wishes,
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~ by Harsh Bhushan on March 18, 2011.

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