Miscommunication can cost an organization 25 percent to 40 percent of its annual budget.(Linchpin Learning Manchester Companies)
A business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications, translating to an annual cost of $528,443. (Cost of Poor Internal Communications – Business Case for Effective Internal Communications, 2014 Siemens Enterprise Communications)
Leaders, it’s up to you to prevent your company from falling into these stats. Today make the additional effort by following these four steps to minimize and avoid miscommunication:
- Over-communicate. Never assume your message is heard, understood and acted upon after communicating it once. There’s a lot of noise in our day-to-day. Workers at Fortune 1000 companies send and receive an average of 1,798 messages each day via electronic and face-to-face communications. (Business Outlook) Your message can easily get lost if you’re not consistently clear, concise and to the point.
- Stop, Think, Act. Before selecting “Send” from your email, iPhone or iPad, ask yourself, “Is this the best way to communicate my message to influence action?” You may find yourself setting aside the email more often and picking up the phone or making an effort to have a face-to-face conversation. You may also find that you save yourself time by having a live conversation rather than going back and forth via text or email.
- ALWAYS Follow Through. Avoid being the person who shows up late or never shows up at all. My father engrained in my sisters and I, “You will be in the top 1 percent if you follow through.” I remember thinking to myself, “I want to be in the top 1 percent and this sounds easy to do.” Now as a business owner I’m realizing how powerful my father’s words are. Many individuals show up late, don’t show up at all and never communicate why. Without an explanation of your behavior, you invite your teams to come up with their own conclusions, which are not positive.
- Be Clear on What You Want. When, if ever, was the last time you communicated to your teams the importance of how they communicate, how often they communicate and how they show up? How you behave is how your teams will respond to you. Be the role model of what effective communication looks and sounds like. If you’re a victim of poor communication who lacks influence, your teams will either leave you or be a reflection of who you are.
I’d love to hear what changes you make this week to minimize or avoid miscommunication among your teams. Tag me on my Facebook page.