Lately everyday I feel like the girl in the Exorcist with my head spinning around.  Haven’t done the green bile.  Everyday the news changes ;he said, she said, they said, yes you can do this, no you can’t.. Please make it stop   Good communication is always important and now more than ever.

This applies to not only leaders in organizations or political leaders, but everyday workers who deal with each other and/or the public. recently posted the best 389 workplaces and they found the most important aspect is communication.  When people are engaged they are heard.  Brene Brown in Dare to Lead describes how to ask questions to create conversations that lead to success among workers.

John Quelch refers to the 7 Cs in managing during a crisis. Number 3 is communication.  His steps are for anytime and are paramount when dealing with change, any change,  Too often, we assume that the other person not only hears us but is listening to what we are saying.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  When we don’t answer questions or give sound bytes, people fill in  for what they aren’t hearing.  That’s when the rumors start.  Whether our position is leadership or just one of the workers conveying the truth is necessary; especially so if you are dealing with customers. We have all experienced situations where someone intended to give the best information but if the recipient didn’t have a frame of reference or knowledge they will interpret wrong and often be frustrated.

Communication is more than just hearing words, it’s how you listen. Are you focused on what is being said or asked or are you distracted?  Do you hear part and assume the rest?  Are you so focused on your responses you aren’t really listening?  I do a fun exercise with my students helping them understand the process. Ask me about it.

Communication is also how you ask questions to elicit the best information. Appreciative Inquiry is an excellent format and teaches how to do better focus groups, stay and exit interviews.  Imagine the difference between; why are you leaving? and what are you most proud of that you were able to do here?

Candor is another key part of communication along with integrity and empathy. Ask General Stanley McChrystal why video conferencing has been so important in getting facts to those who need it and how communication has been itegral in developing teams.

Today more than ever learn to say what needs to be said and to truly listen to others.  If you don’t know an answer don’t guess or make things up. Say you don’t know and you will find out within a specified period of time.

Good communication is the key to not only a successful business but better relationships on every level