The world is moving faster than ever before. With email, text and other handy communication tools, people are communicating much more frequently and quicker than ever before.
As a business owner or administrator of a healthcare organization, you are continuously communicating with your employees. You are the beacon on new information about patients, team members, systems, tasks that need to get done, data that needs to be measured – all these things are being communicated by you daily. Sometimes in a professional memo, other times as a large excel sheet attached to a company-wide email.
We need to think about what we are communicating.
A leaders communication sets a precedent for everyone else in the organization. Without knowing it, what we communicate can have a more significant impact than we think. Every time you send out a communication you need to be considering who is hearing it, how they listen to it, and what is said. Only then will you be able to avoid miscommunication and micro-management.
Think about whom you are communicating with.
People take communications from their leadership seriously. They consider your information a top priority. If you ask your employees to focus on a specific task, it helps to understand what priorities they are focused on and what deadlines they need to attend to first. Be mindful of your position’s influence. Avoid company-wide communications if there are people to whom the information does not apply. Try working with niche groups if you want to implement a new idea, to avoid having everyone off task or cause unnecessary use of employee resources and time.
Think about how your communication is received.
How you share your communication makes a big difference. We now have five generations in the workforce together, who all respond differently to your communication methods. If you call everyone into a room for a meeting, some may take your information more seriously than if you send out a mass email. If you have made a PowerPoint to communicate your new information, some may think they need to take notes and there is no room for interpretation. Analyze what information you are about to communicate, and think about how to deliver it best. The last thing you want is written information that should be a guideline, not a rule that stumps creativity.
Think about the interpretation of your communication.
As we said, we all see things a little differently. Take the photo to the right for example. What do you see? Some say it looks like a tree, while others see animals or fish. Liz Pellet, an organizational development leader in generational differences, explains how generational disconnect can be extreme.
“Is social media in the workplace a way to waste time or a way to be inspired? Is “drank the Kool-Aid” an offensive reference to a tragic event involving hundreds of deaths or is it a way of expressing minor disdain for people who adopt an organization’s norms without much question?”
The intention of your communication should always be to resolve a particular problem, not fuel it. Make sure your communications get interpreted the right way by everyone in your organization. If you don’t know how – ask! Pellet explains that making assumptions (without asking) about communication preferences is one of the most common ways people start to misunderstand each other.
Work on your communication skills.
As a leader, your communication skills are essential. Mastering the art of communication can help grow your business, make your team more effective and also attract new employees and clients to work with you. But everyone struggles with communication. We hope the blog got you to begin thinking about your own communication and provide you an area to begin working on your communication strategy.
Note: If you believe you have nothing to work on, you may be letting your ego get in the way of your success.
Discover how your communication is affecting your organization by working with Sixth Sense Solutions.
About the Author
Keith Freeman, MBA
A dynamic thinker with a great sense of humor, Keith Freeman, MBA, is a Strategic Consultant offering unique solutions to transform healthcare organizations such as hospitals, hospice/palliative, home health, and home care, RCFE/assisted living and skilled nursing facilities and professional healthcare staffing services that support them.