For 13 years now, I’ve been working as a freelance crisis and conflict manager in the German business world and abroad.
As such, I support executives, teams and organizations at all management levels around issues such as employee motivation, employee retention, culture development as well as conflict resolution and crisis management.
In most cases, there’s perplexity about how the other person reacts or about a supposed lack of commitment on the job. The question arises over and over again about how to handle such situations in an appreciative manner.
Before I started my own business, I asked myself what my core competencies were. The answer was simple: communication and conflict resolution. At the time, however, I thought that no one would need communication consulting because “anyone can do that.” How naive I was.
Since then, I’ve increasingly noticed that many people believe they communicate well and in an open, transparent and appreciative manner. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, or at least not to the required degree.
And this is not about basic knowledge about how to communicate, or about sender vs. receiver models and the like. It’s mostly about attitude and the question of what’s needed. Often, people overlook just how important good communication is for employee motivation, employee loyalty and, above all, for conflict prevention and resolution.
For instance, in team-building sessions, people are often surprised at how accurately Tuckman’s team development model reflects the team’s current situation, and statements are made such as, “But I thought we got along well. We talk everything through!” Subjectively, this is probably true. But does the person across from me really feel the same way? Unfortunately, that person often does not.
In this context, open communication that enables the other person to understand contexts, wishes and expectations is incredibly important when it comes to motivating them. At some point, I’ll devote another blog post to that.
So, what can we conclude from such team-building measures, you may ask? Well, people often seem surprised when I ask them, “Did you ever discuss mutual expectations and desires when the team was set up?” The answer is often, “No, because that was in the job description.”
It’s important to understand that that’s simply not enough. Of course, people read their job description. And if these descriptions are good, many things can be deduced from them. But at the same time, each person has their own “map” of their area. In other words, everyone connects differently with any given subject matter, has a subjective perception based on their prior experiences, conditioning and desires, and also has a personal definition of concepts and terms. These need to be discussed, clarified and, above all, compared.
At the end of the day, it’s really quite simple. All you need to do is talk to each other.
How open do you think your communication is with other people? And could communication be the answer for resolving certain irritations? Why not give it a try?
Until then, here’s wishing you all the best and an insightful journey into the world of the people you’re communicating with.
Go for it,
Your crisis manager