Why Senior Managers Have a Hard Time Connecting with Employees

Novations Group, a global professional services firm, recently released the results of communications survey. The information deeply supports why many organizations are buying one of my newer books, "Talk Ain't Cheap... It’s Priceless!". See if this does not ring true in your experience: They rely too much on e-mail and have little face-to-face time with employees. E-mail is a dangerous tool if overused. It runs the risk of being misunderstood, ignored, or in some cases, inflammatory. Often e-mail is without context and precious time evaporates in an electronic back-and-forth. They assume a single message is enough. Recall Advertising 101. It takes at least three times for a message to penetrate. Different people receive messages differently. Some prefer to hear a message while others lean toward the written word. They have no feedback loop in place. Feedback is the breakfast of champions. However, whether knowingly or unknowingly, senior managers might dismiss or not encourage feedback on communication. Their messages lack clarity. Mark Twain once said, “Pardon the long letter. I didn’t have time for a short one.” This great author knew that clarity and brevity take time and skill. The more one is an “expert”, the greater is the chance that what is clear to an experienced mind is simply muddy and confusing to others. Take the time. There are many of us who can help managers develop the skill.

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