Workplace Communication


Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski


This is the second part of a three-part series on communication.


Numerous studies demonstrate poor communication is the top cause of demotivation in the workplace. Let’s take a quick look at what the parts of communication are and briefly discuss the third one this time.


1. Message

2. Perception

3. Field of experience

4. Time to process

5. Feedback

6. Receptivity (active listening and acceptance of bad news)


Field of experience

During my 17 years in management, I was often bewildered by honest employees who told me I never gave them an instruction when I had witnesses confirming I did. Now I understand why. It's because the human mind comprehends very little, or nothing, about things we have no understanding or experience with.


Most managers are older than their employees and thus have a larger field of experience. Nevertheless there are many experiences older managers and younger employees share in common. This is what communication experts call, "shared field of experience." Such as driving a car, using a copy machine and reading a map. But there are many experiences we do not share. When someone is speaking about something outside of the other person's field of experience, there is a hurdle to communication that requires a different approach to be overcome. This is especially challenging with people raised in a foreign culture. 


This communication problem requires identifying the barrier by asking questions about their experience (avoid assumptions) and going into more detail than usual. Then have the recipient repeat your instructions to verify comprehension. Having people repeat what you just told them can be intimidating, so be careful. I like to say, "I'm not sure I communicated that clearly. What do you understand from this conversation?"


Most people want e_mail tips to be short and sweet, so we will discuss other parts of communication next month.


Future issues will provide you with more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.


You may want to print this and discuss it at your next leadership team meeting.


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Improve Your Next Leadership Retreat!

Ron Jasniowski specializes in training managers and supervisors at in-house training workshops and at leadership retreats around the country about character-based leadership skills. This helps managers develop the untapped potential in employees. Learn more from the services page or con.tact us for more information and a quote.


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