It’s hard to disagree with their desire for “improved communications,” even if what they’re asking for is vague and undefined.
When I do a bit more digging, I find that their real concern is more about solving problems than about improving their communications.
They have problems — with productivity, conflict, teamwork, turnover, customer retention, etc. — that they attribute, rightly or wrongly, to ineffective communications.
Improving communications is a means to an end. The end (or the goal) is what matters.
Improved communications doesn’t necessarily solve problems.
- If you have an inferior product or service, talking about it more clearly to your prospects won’t help you sell more of it.
- If you’ve hired the wrong people, helping them communicate more effectively won’t, in itself, improve morale or teamwork.
- If you lack a coherent strategy and plan for implementing it, clear and consistent communications won’t get you on track.
Improved communications does, however, provide the means by which you can solve problems.
- It allows you to identity, analyze, and remedy what’s wrong with your product or service.
- It allows you to figure out why you’re hiring the wrong people in the first place and what you can do about it.
- It allows you to develop a strategy and to put in place measures for implementing it.
Communication is a means to…
- Sharing information and ideas
- Building goodwill and trust
- Facilitating teamwork and collaboration
- Enabling decision making
And all those things are what make problem solving possible.
A failure in communications inevitably causes problems. Always and everywhere.
Improving communications doesn’t necessarily solve those problems. It does, however, make it possible solve them.