Effective Communication:

Signs of Operational Effectiveness

“If you just communicate, you can get by.

But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.”

– Jim Rohn, author, speaker, entrepreneur

It is Girl Scout Cookies’ season. Every year it reminds me of an amusing family story. My parents believed in supporting young adults in their many efforts, whether it was through Boys Scouts, Girls Scouts, or other organizations. This included contributing to the various fund raisers. One year, our family ended up with 37 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, much to the chagrin of my parents and the amusement of my brother and me.

It also exemplified a lack of communication between my parents. They had not discussed their plan for cookie purchases and who they were going to buy from and how much. One of the most amusing parts of this story is that several Girl Scouts got both parents to buy cookies from them.

Studies have shown that poor – or lack of – communication creates a multitude of issues within an organization (and families!). These include, but are not limited to:

  • Staff mistrust and low morale: Staff wants to be engaged and connected. When communication is lacking, Staff instead feels disconnected, resulting in lack of trust, low morale, and even absenteeism.
  • No communication reaps speculation: When an organization does not provide information and/or updates, then Staff and Clients begin to speculate. This can create havoc, resulting in disruption and potential loss of both Staff and Clients.
  • Mixed messages: When an organization tells Staff and Clients that it wants to create a culture of trust but is secretive, this creates confusion.
  • Lack of focus:When communication is not a priority for an organization, meetings are often inefficient and/or ineffective.
  • Lack of innovation: If Staff is unclear about the priorities and communication is lacking, this can compromise creativity and innovation.

Effective communication, on the other, supports operational effectiveness within an organization. It is demonstrated by:

  • Providing clarity on expectations
  • Defining priorities
  • Creating more efficiency among Team Members  
  • Encouraging a shared vision
  • Reducing fear of the unknown
  • Increasing trust among Staff and Customers
  • Improving collaboration
  • Empowering Staff

This quote summarizes it well:

“Excellent communication doesn’t just happen naturally. It is a product of process, skill, climate, relationship and hard work.” – Pat McMillan, author, CEO

Aldridge Kerr are experts at helping organizations build a strong, effective Communication Plan and methodology.

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