‘The meaning of the communication is in it’s effect.’
I came across this quote some years ago and it seems particularly apt in the current crisis. This suggests that if what is being said is not having the desired effect, then it is clearly not being communicated to the right people in the right way. The communication process is made up of a number of steps. Firstly, that we frame our message clearly and it is transmitted in a language and through a medium that gets to the right people. We then need the audience to want to engage and listen, to ultimately achieve an effect. At the moment, there seems to be a lot said that may not be having the desired effect.
It is easy to play the blame game and say the fault lies with those who do not comply, yet we could argue that either the message is poorly transmitted or the case has not been made. If the motivations and arguments were felt to related to the right people, appropriate influence would be the result. There are clearly decisions about the amount of ‘carrot or stick’ that might be needed but the communicator must examine their own part in the failure to communicate effectively. What might be being communicated through actions, policies and examples set? Is the message coherent, or contradictory?
In organisations we often have situations where we need to influence others, this relies on effective communication with the right people at the right time. However, we also need to motivate and engage others to listen to that message and make the motivational case to achieve the desired impact. If people are not listening, you are not saying it in the right way, irrespective of the words you may be using!
Where have you seen communication fail to achieve the desired impact?
What can you learn from those experiences?
How can you ensure you communicate in a coherent and effective way?