Shortcut Navigation:

The Lost Blogs -- the Price of Communication Failures

Imagine my surprise in checking the website (in my spare time, of course) to find a couple of blogs I thought published, out and spreading the message of TRI i, were simply not there. I re-checked my "blogging instructions" from my web folks. At least in my mind, I had followed the process. The only factor in these two lost blogs  that was different was when publishing them I was in a hurry and did not log-out of the site, log back in to be sure they were there. Hmmm... there is a message here. Forget blogging -- are you ever in such a hurry to complete and move on that you assume a process you've successfully completed before has worked again and do not take the extra moment to check and make certain? Think of issues seemingly as disparate as combing P&L figures to checking for feedback on what was actually heard in a leadership message you sent. In a business world of virtual communication, Skype (which I use extensively) travel, rapidly changing economic factors, the constant impact of potential geo-political often are we moving so fast we cannot be sure if the messages we intend to give and those actually received are even close in alignment? The short answer is, obviously, often--far too often.

The price we pay as individuals and organizations is tangible in terms of failed results, sub-optimized talent, and consumer dissatisfaction and desertion. The price is also intangible in the unique minds and hearts of each individual impacted. One of the"lost blogs" had to do with people as an asset versus  corporate lip service that people are an asset. Just watch the morning news or the stock channel during lunch. Notice how many commercials are companies touting the value of people as their greatest asset. If that is true, why is the jobless rate so high? Why are people more fearful and thus less effective in their jobs than ever before? While these questions are somewhat rhetorical, the contradictions between corporate behavior and corporate ad messaging contributes to the human and thus profit price we pay in business.

A couple of recommendations:

Tell people the truth -- even if the truth is you do not know or cannot tell them because (fill in the blank.) Credibility is the congruence of your words and actions. The people you lead are astute. Their "radar" for inauthenticity is highly developed.

Communicate often using a variety of virtual and people-to-people channels. Be sure you include a feedback loop of some kind to close gaps between your intended message and what was received. Even a simple  "Just to make sure we are tracking...what did you hear me say?" The virtual version might be an e-request "Please let me know your reaction to be sure what I am intending to say is coming across."

Vary your leadership style appropriately depending on factors such as new responsibilities, changing corporate structure, and just plain human needs. The Hersey or Blanchard models of Situational Leadership are good basics here. If you are not aware of them -- go find out. One really easy way to master situational leadership is call TRI i. One of our many areas of expertise. OK, OK that was pretty self-serving. True- but self-serving.

These recommendations sound simple. They are. The difficulty is DOING them. People are the largest item on your P&L -- you can't afford not to maximize talent contribution.

All for now. I'm going to be sure this blog is posted. then -- expect more and often.

Linda C. Thompson