These words on your screen, those
voices on your radio and even the little notes stuck to your refrigerator are all forms of communication. We’re not the only creatures on the planet that communicate, but we’re probably the chattiest. We talk, or try to, from the cradle to
the grave. We want to hear what others have to say, but even more, we want people to listen to us.
Person-to-person communication underlies everything we do. It strengthens the fabric whenever we’re engaged in some common activity, making it less likely to shred under stress. Good communications can’t take the place of vision or strategy, but bad communications can undermine the best leadership.
In an organizational context, communication needs to be timely, accurate, informative and engaging. It should inspire and excite. It should elicit action. Unfortunately, many organizations treat the whole thing as an afterthought. Poor communications is consistently one of the most common complaints in employee surveys.
That’s too bad, because it’s not that complicated. In the end, it all comes down to words and pictures. Whether delivered face to face, or through streaming media, that’s how we move an idea from one head to another. We can tell you about it, or we can show you. Words and pictures.
Delivering a message effectively is a matter of blending various elements in a kind of communication “architecture,” and we’ve evolved a Communications Decision Tree to help visualize the idea. Its four main branches present the Content (which is a blend of messages to be delivered and sources of information), the targeted Audiences, the possible delivery Channels and the fact that messages themselves need to be considered over Time. It’s a nice tool for developing a big picture view of your communications program.
HOME | © COPYRIGHT 2013 KNOWLEDGE STREET LLC