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Avoid Communication Breakdown

Communication breakdown. Not just a song by Led Zeppelin – but if you need a brief distraction and a good drum beat to get your heart racing, take a listen here.

Communication breakdown happens when two sides fail to exchange information effectively, and if not addressed can quickly result in disastrous consequences. The two main reasons for communication breakdown are (1) one-way flow and (2) using the wrong channel. Let’s explore the reasons for communication breakdown and our team’s real-world experience and education to prevent them:

  1. One-way flow occurs when there is no space for dialog between sides and can occur across organizational levels and within a specific group. As a result, one side feels that their voice isn’t heard.
    Avoid one-way flow by ensuring that communication is a two-way street. While top-down flows are often used to push out management directives and corporate news to the rest of the organization, they are a one-way street. Be sure to allow for bottom-up communication that will enable employees to voice their opinions about important issues and provide valuable feedback and insights.
  2. Using the wrong channel for communication occurs when conversations better suited for one channel come across via another. An example is a conversation better suited for in-person dialog delivered via email. Or a conversation that could have been effectively accomplished via email but instead was on a company-wide meeting agenda. Sending any message through the wrong channel prevents the information from being exchanged efficiently.
    Avoid using the wrong channel by creating communication guidelines for your organization. Be sure to cover all the possible channels: meetings (company-wide, department, or other), email, in-person, telephone, text, chat-type application, etc.
    See our prior blogs, Team Communication Tips and How to Tame Crazy Emails, for more ideas.

How can we help?

If you or your team need help to identify obstacles and challenges in your workplace situation, contact Theresa, or visit our Contact Us page to schedule a 30-minute Complimentary Conversation. Reaching a goal is a journey, and Success Trek is here to work alongside you.

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