What is the role of communication in professional life? Are we giving emphasis to the right side?
The Common Denominator in our Work Life
As professionals, we often find ourselves overwhelmed by all things we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Depending on the position and the area of work, we are called to take decisions or implement them, attend meetings, prepare presentations, read and respond to numerous emails, meet customers or vendors, participate or manage projects, travel between sites. And the list goes on…
The element that all of the above share, to one extent or another, is that they involve other people. Specifically, interaction with other people.
The perceived problem
Somehow we often feel that we can’t really reach them. We want more from them, but we can’t make them give it. And we blame it on them.
We may use the power coming from our position in the hierarchical ladder to make people deliver, contribute, but deep inside we know that this is a forced approach. It will not really inspire people to excel, to be creative, to give their best. We know this, because we often see ourselves in this position, when our hierarchical superiors come to us. Once again, we blame it on them.
Deep inside, we feel it’s not just about the money for us. We want to feel inspired. We want to feel understood and appreciated. But even more, we want to inspire the others around us. We want to connect in a way that sets an example, we want to be a positive force for our team, our unit, our organization. We picture ourselves as a leader that sets the tone, a leader who, no matter our hierarchical position, can motivate, be approachable, be someone who others follow.
But the problem in this picture is the others… THEY don’t understand me, THEY ask too much, THEY don’t appreciate me, THEY care only about themselves… Sometimes we end up saying “I don’t care as well”.
Take a laugh while watching the following video that illustrates “I don’t care” at work.
Do these thoughts seem familiar to you? Have you been speaking them in your mind?
Is it really the case?
In most of our work life, we interact with people, one way or another. It takes at least two sides to interact. But if THEY don’t act or respond the right way, what are WE doing? Why can’t WE be the ones to initiate the positive change? After all, WE will eventually benefit fin multiple ways from a better version of THEM.
The solution that has the potential to work miracles is to revisit your personal communication attitude.
Communication is a language by itself. If you invest the time and energy to understand it and consciously practice it, you begin to see the attitudes of people around you change for the better.
Communication is about connecting. It is about focusing on the person next to you and actively trying to understand him/her. It is about valuing others for who they are, or even better, who they can be.
Your gain from having the right focus
What can you get from consciously working on your communication? The following are just a few indicative examples
- Boost the morale, and thus the efficiency of your team
- Get customers to follow your lead & see your sales figures explode
- Give presentations that capture your audience’s attention with your presentations
- Become an influencer in your environment, whether formal or informal
- Get people around you to say “yes”, to you and your work
- Be a force of inspiration and motivation for your environment
I believe that communication is a language easy to learn. Many of us have the illusion that we practice it, although it’s not the case. As with any language, the key question is: “Are we willing to actively practice it, so that we can eventually use it without even thinking?” Is it worth the effort? Will it pay off?