Thursday 18 July 2013

Effective communication - part 2

In my last blog I shared the excuses we use to not communicate with others at work. I used the example of telling Ted everything when I was younger and yet now he's relegated to a 10 yearly clean and knows nothing of my life.

Today I'd like to consider what effective communicate looks like. With Teddies it was easy we just took them on a picnic and let them chat and join in our conversations. In organisations it requires more planning and thought. Without that then many stakeholders and even team members may just think you're doing this to them.
The interesting thing is that planning, thought and time is all that effective communication requires. Many managers, however, don't allow themselves the time to think about:
  • who needs to be involved (always more people than you think)
  • when they need to be involved (always earlier than you think)
or to plan:
  • what needs to be communicated (more than you expect)
  • the different methods to be used to communicate
  • responsibility for the communication (someone with the time, desire, influencing skills and relationship with others needed to do the job well)
Before I left HBOS I was communication and personal development manager for the procurement team. I was responsible for everyone within the team knowing what everyone else was up to and communicating with internal stakeholders. All I needed to do was ensure we had a mechanism and a plan to do that. Also reminding others if they forgot to provide a regular update on the project they were working on, and helping writing the updates to make them more meaningful.

Yes I was met with many of the excuses I shared in yesterday's blog but planning and thought meant we had a happier and more productive team as a result.

Who is responsible for communication in your team or project? What can you do more of to make their job easier? Not forgetting of course if you need any assistance to please contact me - +44 7770 538159 or

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - in procurement and business more widely

Blog 17/31 in July in the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

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