Question: Your article on effective meetings in the Aug. 19 issue of Small Business Times was one I could connect with. As a manager at my company, I attend way too many meetings. Nothing ever seems to result from them. My impression is that some of the people take communication for granted. They don’t realize how much they dominate the conversation or how they come across when they are talking. They assume it’s the other person’s fault when something is misunderstood. I’d like you to comment some more about the importance of communication and some things we can do to be better communicators.
Answer: If you’ve read my articles in Small Business Times over the years, you know I feel strongly that communication skills are a foundational element of individual and organizational success. We have only to look at the current business environment in order to support that perspective. After all, we live in an era characterized by:
• Flattened organizational structures.
• Participative management.
• An emphasis on customer service.
• Increasing diversity in the workforce.
Within this context, the ability to get along is clearly important to individual and organizational success.
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