Communication … It’s the most important thing in all our relationships. After all, it’s the key personal tool we use to build trust.
We grow business and succeed based on trusted relationships … So why is it that many of us are constantly in
auto pilot with the keyboard, often without a thought about the effect on our impact.
The misuse of email is something I see so much of in businesses large and small. Here are just 3 common
examples of the way in which far too many staff behave today:
- Pass the parcel … getting something off their desk, ‘Job done’ – for them … ’it’s no longer my problem’.
- Audit trail – I said this, on this date therefore my back is covered and just to make sure, I’ve copied in all
those who I think matter.
- I want to tell you something but don’t want to do so face to face because it’s contentious so here it is on
email. Let’s make it even more contentious!
All of the above lead to mistrust because it’s all about ‘I’ not ‘we’ and doing business should always be about
Unfortunately, technology is leading to a very much more transactional form of communication, which can
often be misunderstood and is indeed changing behaviour in the world of business which can serve to
undermine many of the benefits technology has to offer. At the same time, we are gradually weakening our
communication and social skills, not to mention, in some cases, reducing confidence to interact real time with
A good example would be the difference between consultation and engagement. When you send someone an
email asking for their view on something, you’re consulting them. When you call them for a conversation, or
even better, go and meet with them over a coffee, you’re saying ‘I value your opinion’. The quality of the
outcome is therefore very different.
Understanding the impact on an outcome of what you say and do and how you say and do it is sometimes
business critical and yet so many of our staff don’t give a thought to it. They simply go for the fastest way of
getting the task done and off their desk, rather than thinking about what they’re trying to achieve and the best
way of going about it.
Do others trust you and your company to:
- Pay their invoice
- Deliver what you’ve promised
- Give them the benefit of your experience
- Be honest
- Be discrete
- Be reliable
- Be fair
- Go the extra mile
- Remain loyal
Do your staff help you to build the trust or are they just ticking off the job list?
How do you communicate with your staff? Do you speak with them or send them an email? Remember, they
will follow your lead. I’m coaching my clients to have a conversation first.