The Ever-Changing Nature of Communication

Valeri Bocage
CEO Powerful Women International Connections

“Learning to communicate better is a constant learning experience. We are always learning to do things better. Sometimes we believe people understand our message and we go on thinking that they have it. Always ask people to repeat what you have said, so both of you know the message was understood.” ~Valeri Bocage

 The Ever-Changing Nature of Communication

By Marion Bieber

Communication has taken on many faces over the years. In pre-historic times, we had petroglyphs. We found writings on scrolls, many of which eventually were written on paper. As time progressed, the Industrial Age was introduced and we used typewriters and eventually, in 1985, we were introduced to the Personal Computer (PC). The world was thrilled because our communications were now sent at an all time speed, electronically!

I grew up in a world with television, radio, movie theaters, sock hops and roller rinks. We communicated in person, by phone, or wrote letters. I remember writing letters, and then, waiting with anticipation for the reply. Sometimes, the reply would take weeks. We would also meet up at a local establishments and talk over a meal, dance or other social event. We watched television or went to the movies together, as they showed us how people lived. It was educational and was discussed at work the following day.

Today, we live in the world of technology, where business communications which used to a week now transpire within seconds. Things that took 20 years to develop are now happening within 20 SECONDS!
We wonder, how will we ever keep up? With Moore’s Law being challenged, communication devices are becoming smaller and exponentially faster. It seems consumers define ‘smaller and faster’ with being exponentially better. With the advent of social media, businesses can choose between different communication platforms and build strategies around those.

Communication Barriers
With ever-changing means of communication at our fingertips, we may find the old ways of doing things just aren’t viable anymore. It seems, the methods of communications today are changing so fast, we are on a continual learning curve. More often than not, we are challenged to communicate quickly and more concisely. Effective communication is required in business organizations to attain its goals in a desired way. However, there are times when we are faced with communication barriers which must be bridged in order for a business to improve its processes and performance. Some communication gaps might be technological, and others may arise due to personal issues or personality types.

In order to bridge the communication gap, there are a few hurdles to overcome. Fear and mistrust start the cycle. As business leaders, we must ensure our employees and/or team members feel comfortable with us. Subordinates many times fear speaking with their superiors and therefore, cannot express their concerns or listen well.
We must nurture trust within the organization in order to foster open communication. In face-to-face meetings, we must be very aware of our body language and tone of voice. Both can be used to alleviate client or employee fears and/or mistrust.

Your Message and Vision
Regardless of the type of communication used, i.e., email, texting, talking, etcetera, it is critical to keep the organizations’ vision and goals in the forefront. Ask yourself, “Are your communications are truly reflecting that vision?” If your message seems to be misunderstood, take the time to reemphasize key points and listen to the feedback others provide. Many times, you will end up forging a new path which adds to your vision!

Key Points
As you follow through to bridge communication gaps in your organization, be sure to remember these key points:
1. Help others overcome fear
2. Build relationships with trust
3. Be aware of your body language and tone of voice
4. Listen to feedback and implement necessary changes
5. Realign resources needed to bridge the communication gap
6. Stay true to your organizations’ vision
7. Follow up to ensure the gap has been bridged

“Leaders become great, not because of their power but because of their ability to empower others through communication.”
~ Ms. Marion Bieber

Below are two photos of a PWIC Leader working to empower others through communication. Dr. Olivia brought some of her women connections from Kenya to collaborate at a luncheon in Berkeley, CA. This collaboration was to educate women entrepreneurs in Kenya. Dr. Olivia is planning a Women’s Conference in Kenya August, 2018.

(Left to right) – Wamya Mahinda, Nairobi, Kenya, Tendai Jordan, Oakland, CA, Dr. Olivia Herriford, Walnut Creek, CA, Valeri Bocage, San Francisco, CA, Ester Muchiri, Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr. Olivia in Kenya 2016

Ms. Marion Bieber
Editor

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