Thursday, August 8, 2019

Communication Competency of BoDs

Communication clarity directly impacts on the business effectiveness and organizational maturity.

Communication is the key to improve leadership effectiveness and improve business fluidity. Either at the boardroom or the different layers of the business hierarchy, effective communication is like the thread to connect all important business gems, for building the trustful relationship, enforcing collaboration, and improving digital readiness and manageability.

Break down communication bottlenecks by paying attention to content, context, and style:
Technically, communication can be broadly categorized into technology-based communication and communication based on direct human contact. There are interpersonal communication and intrapersonal communication. Communication effectiveness can be improved upon when the hard barriers are broken down and soft obstacles are overcome. There are hard communication barriers such as out of date processes, procedures, practices or soft ones like culture, politics or leadership style, etc. Miscommunication is also caused by perception gaps because people have a different knowledge base and cognitive understanding to articulate things. We live in the digital era with exponential growth of information. The updated and accurate information can make conversations more trustful and persuasive. Also, pay more attention to communication content (what's your message), communication context (what will indicate to a different audience) and communication styles. Don’t forget the wise quote from the Drucker: “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.” -Peter Drucker

Improve communication effectiveness by overcoming "Lost in Translation" syndrome: Communication is complicated because there are differences in goals and contexts, especially strategic communication at the board level. Contextual understanding is about knowing the business dynamic and perceiving the business insight in a cohesive way in order to enforce cross-functional communication. Misinterpretation enlarges communication gaps and causes decision-ineffectiveness. Misinterpretation is often caused by a lack of contextual understanding, pre-conceptual judgment, random assumptions, prejudices, misinformation, or simply lack of deeper understanding. Assumptions and prejudices are due to a lack of deeper understanding. When you intend to understand, interpret and judge something, you need to form a critical opinion of it based on facts, discerned data, common understanding, and clarified notions,

Leverage diverse viewpoints by listening, brainstorming, or questioning to improve communication effectiveness: Highly effective leaders and strategists are business “multi-linguists” who can overcome all sorts of communication obstacles, master different business dialects and convey the right message in the right format to tailor different audiences for harnessing communication effectiveness and enforcing business collaboration. Lack of trust is an often overlooked barrier to communication. It is important to foster an environment in which feedback and communication are based on reality and not simply what senior management wants to hear. Authentic and candid communication helps to harness trust and encourage collaborative problem-solving.

Communication clarity directly impacts on the business effectiveness and organizational maturity. Communications are the tools to solve problems, and languages are the tools to make communications. The great communicators can communicate objectively with strong logic, clarity, and understanding. The reality of messages is that they have to be "real." There is no magic communication formula, but always pay more attention to content, context, and style for interpreting things with clarity, communicating shared goals clearly and making smooth business progress.


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