It may seem ironic to spell this out in a blog post, but the art of communication is being lost in the workplace because we just don’t talk anymore.
Every day we are bombarded with more communication than we can handle. So much so, that we are suffering from information overload and are forgetting how to communicate person-to-person effectively.
For many of us this is having a huge impact on relationship building in and around the workplace, from individuals to teams, business to business and business to client.
At MWM Advisory we believe strongly in the power of communication, conversation and collaboration. Not content with an ‘us and them’ approach to accounting, we prefer the ‘one for all and all for one’ ideals of the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.
We may have switched the sword craft for a calculator, but we have developed dedicated teams of managers, accountants and client service coordinators that work closely with our clients to listen, observe and advise on the things that matter to the success of their businesses.
Our commercial advisory service to clients covers everything from compliance, tax planning, accounting, software installation to budgeting, and the list goes on depending on the individual and business needs or the industry you are in.
For us, it goes without saying that communication is critical in every relationship – personal or professional. We put a lot of emphasis on the soft skills such as communication, interaction, creativity and innovation, and developing these skills to apply them effectively in our work.
Bring back the conversation
In this day and age, we feel the daily struggle to create an honest dialogue and communicate properly, which can create unnecessary pressure, worries and concern across all levels of an organisation.
If we develop the means to communicate more personally by talking to one another, efficiency will improve because you can cover off in one five-minute conversation, something that may take 10 emails back and forth to determine.
But we’ve stopped talking. Instead, we email, text, WhatsApp, send messages via apps like Slack, ‘like’, ‘comment’ or otherwise ‘engage’ in impersonal ways… and the art of conversation is dying!
In business, this is having a massive impact on the relationships we develop with our clients and creating a plethora of unnecessary issues that could easily be remedied if we stopped hiding behind technology and using it to do the talking for us.
This lack of interpersonal communication causes uncertainty, stress and anxiety. The thoughts, the emotion, the missing context and the stuff that goes unsaid, create a sense of doubt in the reader that a barrage of email replies will never clarify.
Our heavy reliance on tech-based communications ‘solutions’ removes so many fundamental factors that form good communication. We can no longer see sincerity, properly interpret tonality, convey emotion or show empathy. Comments get misunderstood and we lose the associated feeling – all the things that are a necessary foundation for good relationships.
Being able to see body language, hear tone and actually listen is essential. And this continues to change constantly the minute you start talking.
Yes, having something in writing is very important, so we need to develop better writing practices too, such as writing one email confirming the conversation you have just had.
If efficiency improved, it would make everybody’s roles easier and would help build trust in those relationships. This doesn’t mean nothing will ever go wrong but it does mean you have built a rapport with someone who you can then talk to.
These days a lot of relationships are built over email or some other tech platform that replaces actually talking to one another. And the art of communication is thus being lost and being able to show empathy for someone in the workplace is sadly missing.
Social and tech-based communications are here to stay but they must come as support functions to actual relationships, which are built through real, good old fashioned and transparent communication.
Let’s get talking to each other again!