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Everything You Need to Know About Communication Can Be Learned In Traffic

95% of our success in the workplace comes in the ability to understand why we think and act the way we do and then adjust for the behavioural and communication needs of others…

It can be like negotiating traffic on a busy stretch of road. There are all types of people, with all types of driving styles, all trying to get to their individual chosen destination with a minimum of delay and in one piece.

Herein lies the problem. Big cars, smaller cars. Fast cars, slower cars. Sharing the road with trucks, buses and the occasional wide load. There are signs that need to be seen and interpreted and the road becomes more difficult to master with the onset of adverse weather conditions. People are all in a hurry and their reactions to certain events cause fear, frustration and behaviour change. Honked horns, anger, road rage and the inevitable accident that doesn't just effect the people involved but everyone on the road.

Sounds a bit like the modern day workplace.

Ineffective communication with others in our team adds to conflict and stress levels. This is caused by some key problems that I see in every workplace that engages me to work with their people to "increase engagement" or "raise productivity". Let's take a look at a few of the common ones.

1. One way communication

This is totally self serving.  It's sending a message with the sole purpose of being heard instead of a mutual exchange.

2. Channel mismatch

Using email and other forms of technology by default instead of balancing it with a quick chat or other forms of personal contact.

3. Confusing messages

Encoding our message based on the way we need to be communicated to rather than tailoring it to suit the receivers.

4. Too much noise

Releasing our message into a environment filled with competing deadlines and distractions.

5. Inability to manage emotions

Reacting inappropriately to what we think message is saying due to beliefs and experiences that trigger the fight or flight response.

50% of wasted time in any organisation is due to a lack of trust caused by this ineffective communication culture. This is time that can be used to increase productivity and profit. To bring people together as an effective team, we first need to engage their individuality and celebrate their differences. To do this we need to train our people, including ourselves, how to send clear and compelling messages that are like sweet music to the ears of the receivers. We must learn to give them what they need so in turn they can give us what we want.

Here are 5 essential keys to making this happen for your workplace.

1. Learn to be authentic

2. Celebrate differences

3. Complete the process

4. Remove the noise

5. Manage emotions

Contact me for more information on how to develop these skills for yourself and your people. You can significantly reduce conflict and stress, for increased engagement and productivity in your workplace, by developing your communication and relationship skills.

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