Saturday 26 November 2016

You don't want better communication do you?

Whilst we were debriefing the pipe cleaner session during the recent supplier management workshop, that I shared in yesterday's blog, I had one of those a-ha moments that I intend delegates to get during training sessions. When that happens it's always followed by me saying "I must write a blog", so that I may explore it further, and here it is!

In essence, the solution to many of the problems being discussed this week was "improved communication". They all knew this, and yet what to do still eluded them.

As they described their pipe cleaner sculptures the words they used seemed to express more succinctly the solution - as if communication was only a vague chapter heading waiting for paragraphs to emerge. Paragraphs that would give the solution more clarity.

The aspects of lack of communication that emerged from the starting stuck pipe cleaner sculptures were described as:
  • Silos
  • Talking to themselves
  • Ping pong
  • No talking
  • Cage with no door
  • Disconnected
  • Confused
  • Square minded 
Yes words that do describe 'ineffective communication' but words that also provide much more of an idea of where the solution may lie.

Solutions such as:
  • Interconnecting
  • Closer working
  • 2 way communication 
  • Aligning goals 
  • Starting talking
  • Going in the same direction
  • Opening minds 
  • Opening dialogue 
  • Simplifying communication
  • Taking responsibility
Words that then led to conversations about what improved communication would look like in each of those different situations.

When you next find yourself saying the solution lies in improved communication, you may want to remember that's only the chapter heading - you have to open and read the chapter to really find out what to do.

I'd love to know how you get on - I'll keep you posted too.

Alison Smith
The Purchasing Coach
Inspiring change - inside and out  

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