Organizational communication as a field of study is of interest if you choose to train communication skills or lead people through continuous communication improvement. Why? It’s useful to understand “the roots” of your field. That’s why I enrolled in the Organizational Communication Seminar in the Master’s program at Chico State. However, it is real-life practical application which fascinates me and drives my training success.
How will you champion improved communication at your organization? What will your communication legacy be because you held your current role? Seemingly small efforts can make a big difference! Let me provide an example.
Yesterday I was working at a manufacturing facility. I asked a supervisor if there was anything I could do to support his success that day. He smiled and proudly showed me a few completed documents, his hand-written notes a penciled-out-trophy of accomplishment.
He explained, “I’ve been using the communication tools you’ve created for us. Now, when the lead engineer comes through with process or personnel questions, I have answers. I look like I’ve go my act together. You’ve already helped me!”
I replied: “Often those questions are triggered by circumstances unrelated to you, but if you don’t have answers, the focus suddenly shifts to you.”
“That’s right!”, he continued, “And then I’m scrambling to try and figure out what’s going on. With these communication tools we can all get on the same page.”
This employee didn’t study business communication or English. Nor did he pursue a degree in Organization Communication. He doesn’t spend his time contemplating when or how “business” and “industrial” communication morphed into “organizational communication”. He is a hard-working man with an open mind, ready to use the tools provided to him. He is using those tools to support idea advancement from front line employees to upper management.
This week pay attention to your message content and your communication techniques. Study your utilization of channels or networks. Are your habits a help or hindrance? How are you supporting increased communication quality within your organization?