A powerful vehicle for organizational momentum is Communications Intelligence. Communication affects every area and every relationship in life and carries the power to either enhance or diminish trust.
When it comes to navigating the new normal in today's world, communication is key for keeping coworkers engaged, focused, and accountable and shapes work environments, driving momentum, especially when leading teams.
Regardless of being in the office part-time, full-time, or still working from home, frequent communication about priorities and progress gives employees a sense of certainty and understanding about what is happening. When people know what is going on they do not have to count on back-channeling and gossip for their information.
According to Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged in the workplace.
It’s easy to think that just by saying aloud what you want someone else to understand, you are communicating intelligently.
However there’s much more to it. Embracing a fuller understanding of all the elements at play when communicating within the workplace avoids misunderstandings and streamlines cooperation by building trust.
Understanding the difference between hearing and listening, paying attention to intonation of voice, body language and what’s not being said all allow for better communication.
And so much of what makes an enterprise work is that all involved feel that they understand what is happening around them, the goals being set and how to individually contribute to the success of the whole.
That takes effective communication.
What blocks healthy communication?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
All human beings operate with a wall of thought, (12-60,000 thoughts a day and 85% of them negative and repetitive), so it is no surprise that when we speak to people all too often, they do not hear what we actually say because our communication barriers prevent getting through all the skepticism and resistance.
When conversations take place between a speaker and a listener, the first thing that happens is the listener has a biochemical reaction to the speaker and what they are saying.
Underestimating the Power of Communication
If the reaction is positive, the listener is more open to hear and react in a conscious manner. However, if the communication is interpreted as negative or threatening in any way, the bio-reaction hijacks the listener’s attention. What the listener is left with is conclusions about what was said, based on their personal interpretations. This can send the interaction veering off-course from that moment on.
And all this happens in a nanosecond.
When an organization is not performing or employees are not meeting expectations it can usually be attributed to a breakdown in communication.
Quite often organizations underestimate the power of communication. Leaders may assume their message is cascading effectively down the line or there may be a missing framework for communication and these breakdowns wreak havoc on organizational culture and performance.
How to Improve Communication Skills in the Workplace
The good news is that skills needed to communicate effectively can be learned. The catch is that it can’t be about the other person getting better at it. One-way communication is not communication at all. We must all take the time to look at ourselves and how we communicate.
Luckily, there are practical ways to improve the skills needed.
"In KeenAlignment’s Communications Intelligence experiential workshop, participants get the opportunity to try on new levels of listening and interacting, gaining greater understanding of what it means to positively relate to others and why it’s important, as well as learning the skills that contribute to building rapport. When we have and utilize our Communications Intelligence, we become better listeners and speakers and our message is more likely to be heard and remembered."
- Zeydi Gutierrez - Director of Business Operations, AB&I Foundry
Learn More About Your Host
The Claim & Unleash Your Power workshop is facilitated by Margaret "Magi" Graziano, the CEO and founder of KeenAlignment. Magi lives and breathes workplace culture and has a contagious energy. She's served hundreds of companies and thousands of leaders by transforming their leadership from the inside out, shaping healthy, intentional and high-performance organizational culture.
Magi's is driven by her passion for uncovering and catalyzing human potential. She delivers customized leadership programs that transform teams and management. Magi provides clear pathways for business leaders to reshape company culture and grow.
Magi was named one of Silicon Valley's Top 100 Leaders and has spent over 20 years helping teams and individuals unlock their full potential. She's a recognized expert in organizational transformation. Her groundbreaking work has touched the lives of thousands of men and women throughout the country.