We probably won’t hear the end of this from our way over-priced marketing/public relations advisers. They’re always telling us to never, never, never begin a message on a NEGATIVE.
Still, we feel a certain obligation to say something from the start. It’s about an important workforce development service that Scribblers Media doesn’t do. Indeed, try as we might, simply can’t do. Truth be told, not even close. And that’s to…. well, let’s try explaining it this way. Consider this common workplace scenario:
A project manager says something to a project team member. However, the team member doesn’t quite understand the manager’s message. (Maybe even has absolutely no clue what the manager meant.) The team member isn’t exactly sure what he/she’s supposed to do. (Perhaps he/she doesn’t even have a vague sense of what he/she’s supposed to do.) Something just doesn’t seem right. (Or maybe even, something seems very wrong.)
Such imperfect communications, of course, happen all the time. Anyway, what Scribblers Media just can’t do is, in such situations, to get that team member to say so much. To get him/her to say to the project manager something like: “Um, I don’t quite understand what you mean.” Or “I’m not sure what you want me to do.” Or “What you just said, makes no sense.” Or utter some similar reply. (Often a simple ‘”Huh?” works wonders.)
To get our fellow workers to consistently provide such feedback, would be, needless to say, a very valuable service. In fact, it can be inestimably invaluable.
Again though, instilling such laudable business communications habits, is something—try, try, try as we might—we scribblers can’t do. Sorry.
Actually, we don’t feel particularly abashed in admitting that. And that’s of course, because no one else seems able to do it either. Indeed, to get workers to always give such helpful feedback when necessary is kind of a Holy Grail in the business management instructor/facilitator/consultant game.
(If you find an external adviser or internal manager who can actually instill such practices in your troops, our advice is pay them whatever they ask. Whatever the expense—it’ll be recouped over and again.)
Anyway, we just wanted to mention that. (And, hey, Know what? We feel POSITIVELY relieved that we did.)
Oh, by the way, if such a service is what you’re looking for, well, best of luck in your search!
BLOG POST ADDENDUM
In addition to the above “miscommunication by omission” there’s a related, and often even more pernicious, “miscommunication by commission” that’s also rampant in modern business. (Same as it it ever was, probably.) You probably already know what we mean. Regardless, it’ll have to wait for another post. We just now realized that we were probably supposed to install the new ink cartridges and recycle the used ones, and not vice-versa.
Just wanted to post this alert. Some consultants will, in fact, WARRANTY that they can get your troops to provide that “What do you mean?” feedback. And indeed many really can. TEMPORARILY. (Heck, we can even do that.)
Sure, you may see an immediate, short-term bump. However, getting such behavior TO STICK is a different matter. (And such healthy communication habits always seem to breakdown just when you need them the most.)
So if you ever get such a promise, always ask how long the guaranty’s good for.