Communication (from Latin communicare, meaning “to share”) is the act of conveying meanings from one entity or group to another through the use of mutually understood signs, symbols, and semiotic rules. In other words, communication is the most important factor in success of any work place.
Is your organization suffering from severe communication problems? Someone once said that “communication is the lifeblood of an office” – and it truly is. An office that is experiencing a breakdown in communication will not live for very long because many problems will crop up and eventually cause the office to die a natural death.
If your work place is experiencing communication problems, you must do what you can to resolve these as soon as possible. Your entrepreneurship journey is at stake.
How do you know if your organization is experiencing communication problems? There are 12 possible signs that you should look out for:
- 1) You find it hard to get some people to cooperate.
- 2) Some people are being left out of the communication
- 3) Replies to messages are being delayed or completely
- 4) Groups are failing to reach their goals.
- 5) Mistakes are cropping up more and more often.
- 6) People are resorting more to criticism and placing the blame on other people.
- 7) Morale of teams is going down.
- 8) Productivity is dull or at zero level.
- 9) You receive many complaints.
- 10) Moments of conflict result in expressions of anger.
- 11) There is significant employee turnover.
- 12) Business is going to your competitors instead of
If you find that there are some or many (if not all) of these warning signs present, it is advisable for you to take steps to address such problems before they kill your work place.
How does one correct or resolve such problems? There are different steps to take to counter the prevalence of communication problems in organizations.
- 1) First, listen to the people involved or who have caused the communication problem in the first place. Doing so allows you to uncover the depth, nature and roots of the communication problem for that particular group of people.
- 2) If the problems are quite vast and have deeply-rooted causes, you may want to secure the help of a neutral negotiator. This third party may be able to get inside the problem more thoroughly than an insider because when communication problems crop up, the group involved may choose to clam up or point fingers rather than admit to their role in creating the problem.
- 3) To maintain confidentiality, it is possible to use a tool such as a survey. People who might be scared to tell the truth because of reprisals would then have another safer option compared to coming out of the crowd.
- 4) After you have uncovered the problem and its roots, you may choose to initiate group counseling or training. The point of this is to address the problem of the group, rather than focusing on just one person. Finger-pointing is avoided. The saying “united we stand, divided we fall” should become the motto of the group.
- 5) It is important for the leader to have great communication skills so that communication problems can be resolved. Communication skills are required to diagnose communication problems, and naturally, provide the necessary solutions. Leaders who lack adequate communication skills might benefit from more training in communication.
Remember, if your office is already suffering communication problems, don’t wait for these symptoms to get worse. Good communication is necessary for an office to function properly and stay viable amidst the influx of a multitude of challenges from the environment. Act immediately on communication problems and stem the bleeding of your work place.