Communication Is Key

When I think about organizational management, behavior and culture, I normally don’t think of communication as being the focal point. Of course, there are other elements that make or break a successful organization. But in my opinion, communication is the one that is needed the most.

In the workplace, communication is not an easy task. Most times, it seems to involve going above and beyond to make sure your message is clear and concise. This often means having to understand organizational behavior as well as each individual’s work style, behavior and culture.

Recently, I read a very interesting article, “Cultural Communication Barriers in the Workplace.” The article addresses culture in the workplace and speaks to the very difficult and different skill set needed to communicate. Just in my organizational workplace there are four different ethnicities, four women, one man, an academic scholar, two students, a working mother, a graduate student, a software engineer, a video editor and a high school intern. All from five different states, ranging from 16 – 45 years of age. They all have different professional communication styles, speaking various professional languages geared toward their expertise, sometimes personal culture, and even workplace habits.

To say that “things get lost in translation” is an understatement. In his article, “Executive Perception of the top 10 soft skills needed in today’s workplace,” Marcel Robles notes there are 10 soft skills to have in the workplace. Those skills include:

  • Integrity
  • Communication
  • Courtesy
  • Responsibility
  • Social skills
  • Positive attitude
  • Professionalism
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Work ethic

I believe these are all essential skills to have. However, I question how people respond to these skills outside the scope of their needs and wants.

Organizations should focus on establishing a new enterprise culture. The concept of a new enterprise culture is explained as a universally accepted culture in which one understands the other person’s professional values, beliefs and respects it. In one of my past blogs, I wrote about having to manage upper management and mentioned how difficult it is. The top-level management should commit in building organizational climate without conflicts and difference of opinions.

I would welcome the idea, however I would be interested to see how effective this would be with strict deadlines, professional egos, staff woes and upper management perks. I agree with a successful workplace. But I also think it takes a soft skills, individual professional assessment and personal work ethic to have a successful organization.

Submitted by Shirmel Hayden


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