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POSTED 2.2.2018

Why it’s always good to talk (and answer the phone!)

“The art of communication is the language of leadership” – and boy is that true. Effective communication can make all the difference between landing a new business deal and missing out on a great opportunity.

By Graham Clifford

We’ve all been entrapped in some situation, or maybe even workplace, where internal communication is abysmal, generating inevitable dissatisfaction for everyone from the employee to the consumer.

Never in the history of mankind has a business riddled with poor communication delivered its full potential.

It’s as fundamental as electricity… as intrinsic as four walls.

By the way, that quote linking communication and leadership was uttered by James Humes, a Pulitzer prize-nominated author and former presidential speechwriter.

Humes worked for Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford and Dwight Eisenhower —so when it came to communications he knew a thing or two.

While his definition of ‘communication’ in this instance relates more to the art of getting your viewpoint across clearly to the masses, the same principal applies to smaller workplaces.

It’s interesting to note that when communication is clear and prioritised, the impact is rarely felt. But when it’s poor, when that chain of information between colleagues is broken, or when a frustrated client or customer is told five different things by five different employees of the same company, then the impact is all too obvious. Mayhem and chaos often ensues.

On a recent current affairs programme on RTÉ 1, a leading consultant criticised the Health and Safety Executive for many things —but he made special mention for ‘communication’. He told the host, Claire Byrne: “When you ring up a hospital you don’t know if anyone will answer.”

Such criticisms are not unique to any one organisation of course. Many, as well as smaller businesses, prioritise other functions over customer care.

Good communication should never be underestimated. Whether it’s the way one speaks with a colleague, the sharing of information in the workplace, or the way you speak with a customer.

It saves time, it prevents misunderstandings, and diminishes the probability of problems which keep you at work when you want to be at home with your loved ones.

Poor communication can cost you money, whereas good communication leads to efficiency and develops a positive reputation which can boost business. Also, it displays good manners and respect.

So, answer that email, call back that customer and share relevant information with your colleagues.  Be a champion of communication and others will follow your lead.