We are always pounding the idea of
good better communication into everyone we come in contact with in our organizations because it truly is the blood flow of the organization. We all know why communication is important and I don’t think I need to rehash that for you all, but what about your communication in respect to your performance and your needs and so on? Are you doing the best you can do at that?
I learned a lesson (surprise! -Isn’t that what sparks all of your blog posts Kristina? A lesson you learned? 🙂 ) in communicating for yourself. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a rock star recruiter (http://hrpockets.com/2012/09/06/recruit/) and I can say that so easily now because I’ve previously taken that knowledge for granted. Being good at something somehow made me think everyone knew I was good at it, after all numbers don’t lie right? I have GREAT customer service and my customers know it, but does upper management know it? I have an ability to SELL! SELL! SELL! and I know that, but do you know that? I’m dependable, I always do what I say (even when I realize at 3am that I overcommitted myself and I could easily explain why I didn’t follow through-I will ALWAYS do what I SAY I am going to do) and my friends know that, my customers know that, but does the person signing my paycheck know that? I’m all about process improvement and I value team collaboration on that task-we can always do what we do better, but I don’t always have the answer for that: sometimes we can come up with that answer in a team talk. I am all about ENGAGING employees and TEAM BUILDING, I value what they can do for an organization and whole heartedly believe they ARE a part of successful companies. My peers know how dedicated I am, because they go on 5am walks with me in the neighborhood when I bring my cell phone so I can call a customer site to confirm that my 3 new hires showed up, they are hanging out with me when I get a phone call that someone didn’t show up for a weekend banquet and I drop what I’m doing and call back-up employees or even go and work the event myself. They watch my daughter when I have a last-minute request to show up on a job site 42 miles away and do a drug screen. They are a part of my “meeting-of-the-minds” where I bounce ideas off of them and really delve into the integral parts of the organizations they are part of whether they are a customer or not. Did I take the time to convey all this information to the person that signs my paycheck? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Why? Because I was busy DOING those things.
I tend not to get too caught up in the gossip of any organization, let alone the ones I work for and that can lead to trouble if the other key players love the gossip. That can be dangerous when you are raising the bar and they are complacent where they are. Sometimes when you ignore the gossip you become the gossip and the rule of thumb is basically this “If someone has a good experience at your business/with you/etc they will probably tell someone, but they are 7 times more likely to tell someone they know if they had a BAD experience at your business/with you/etc..” I say this to get you to picture this: if you aren’t telling your upper management what you are doing, why you are doing it, how you are doing it, no one else probably is either, but they will tell on the stuff they don’t like whether it’s relevant to business or not-so please take the time to toot your own horn every now and then. You will have to perfect the art of doing this so you don’t sound like a complete self involved db, but you should work on it because it turns out it’s more valuable than I gave it credit for.
Here’s another reason you need to communicate for yourself… to get the right information. You know how it goes when you are the new kid on the block, everyone kind of wants to warn you on what to expect, who the bad apples are, how the owner wants to be acknowledged, the gossip and so on. Take all of that with a grain of salt. Tread lightly, but find out things for yourself. Here’s an example from a previous experience of mine: “OH- you put the OWNER on hold? Oh my, they aren’t going to like that!”-from a coworker of course, I’m a newbie at this point so I’m now TERRIFIED that I’ve made a huge mistake. No-turns out the owner didn’t mind being on hold, mainly because that interpreted to you must be taking care of a customer. Talk about a huge relief, for a second I was afraid I worked for an awful boss-not the case! Had I not found out for myself though I would’ve never known and always wondered. Find out the rules, policies, expectations and so on from who sets them don’t listen to the urban legends and don’t assume.
It’s easy to forget to communicate for yourself when you’re so busy trying to teach the importance of communication to others. My advice: Don’t let it happen to you.