Saturday, 21 February 2009


I've been looking at definitions of communication (I've had that sort of weekend). For once I almost agreed with a Wikipedia entry. In its entry for communications, it includes "Communication requires that all parties have an area of communicative commonality". It's that "...communicative commonality." that I think is interesting.

It take  to mean that everyone involved needs to understand and agree what they are trying to do. In my experience of dealing with people in organisations, this is usually a problem. It is also usually a step that is either ignored or simply not done.

When was the last time that you sat with colleagues and said "what are we trying to do - are we all sure?". Perhaps you work in an enlightened organisation, but it's rare, I think. Equally - how often have you left a meeting and thought "what was that about?" or "what was agreed?" or even "did we agree anything?".

I'd love to say that I always sorted communications for everything that I do. I do, however, try to focus on the problem as often as possible and have noticed that - surprise, surprise - projects where I take the time to sort out the communications in advance (and as we go along) tend to work that bit better. I remember a story about Jack Nicklaus (a stunning golfer, for those of you depressingly younger than me) who was complemented on his luck on a golf course. "Yup" he said, "and the more I practise, the luckier I get."

My point (yes, I did have one) is that we should all try to ensure open communications. 

More on this subject in future posts.

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