Communication power – people are listening to you!
A young engineer approached me at the coffee machine at the office. The engineer said: “I just want to tell you that I will never forget when you in a meeting told me that I should make my voice heard. It has been very important to me during all my years”.
I myself had long ago forgotten the meeting and my comment. It was just another meeting and however sincere my comment was, I forgot it. To the engineer it had made a big difference.
Some years later my HR manager came to me and said “Do not forget that people listen to you, that your words make an impact. It is both a possibility and a risk.” (Good HR managers are clear to their leaders!) The HR manager’s comments has helped me to think more about how my communication is perceived and how I can use it to reach targets.
Both these stories are good reminders of the power of communication. As a leader at any level of an organisation, you have the possibility to make impact through communication. Especially if you manage to communicate to individuals in a way where you understand what they need and how they perceive things. And do not mix communication with information. There is a lot of information, but not enough communication.
Or as Peter Drucker summarised what we know about communication in the book “Management – Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices”.
1. Communication is perception.
2. Communication is expectation.
3. Communication makes demands.
4. Communication and information are different and indeed largely opposite – yet interdependent. Communication is perception, information is logic. Information is impersonal rather than interpersonal.