By Erin Taylor
What does effectiveness in business look like to you? By Googled definition, “in business, effectiveness refers to the quality of results that are derived from tasks completed by both employees and their managers. … For example, if someone is a marketing manager and their marketing campaigns deliver consistent leads, they would then be thought of as an effective marketing manager.” While that may be a more textbook-like definition, this can mean so many things to so many people and businesses. For me, it’s about looking at the whole picture and asking yourself if overall you feel as though things are running smoothly and effectively because all of the parts (that make up the whole) are allowing people to get the job done and feel fulfilled in the work that they’re doing.
I think the root to any business success is having good communication. When the communication game is strong among employees and employers, it allows for clear expectations to be set and fulfilled. Whether it be in a work or personal environment, communication is KEY! I know from a personal standpoint that when I know exactly what is expected of me and I feel as though I can communicate my desires/needs and questions, it allows me to do my job better and it also allows me to feel and gain greater value from the work that I’m doing. Healthy communication creates a win-win situation for all!
So how do we ensure great communication? If we feel it’s lacking, what can we do to change the current climate? I’m in no ways an expert, but based on my own areas of interest and experience, here are a few ideas that I have that could help improve your work and personal environments:
- Create opportunities for one-on-ones: This will allow both parties to give and receive feedback and to ensure everyone’s on the same page in a less intimidating setting.
- Group discussions: This allows everyone to feel heard in the same setting and can be a great way to gain a sense of what the majority is feeling.
- Measure success by your impact: get clear with yourself (“here’s what I mean when I say x” …), check in with yourself before checking in with others. Once you gain your own sense of clarity, you can then better communicate it with those around you.
- Practice the principles of dialogue: dialogue aims at truly trying to listen to understand. If we can do this without judgement, we’ll all be better off!
- Say what you mean and mean what you say: when you can dig deep and get to the root of any issues or discomfort you may be feeling, it is then that you can truly find a way through.
Do you have anything to add? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
In the short lifespan of my work experience thus far, these tools have become extremely important to me both in work and in personal situations. When I think back on a particular job I had while in college, I worked at a retail store and while I absolutely loved the team I worked with, I often struggled with my boss and I know that if I had utilized some of those ideals listed above, perhaps I would have felt better about going to work every day. My boss, while they could be super fun, kind and supportive, often felt the significant stress that came with running the store and would often take out their own anxieties on the people around them. I was the newest on the team and whenever something would go awry, I would often be blamed, simply because I was the newest addition to the team. This would not only piss me the f**k off, but it would make me feel less valued for the work I was doing and on bad days, make me question my ability to do the work at all.
Sometimes, I would feel worthless. Retail, to begin, with is not always the easiest of jobs to have. For some reason, some people think that it’s okay to treat retail workers as though they are the scum of the earth. Perhaps that just happens when people are in a “service role” and I got to say, it is certainly the con that weighs heaviest in the job. But when you have a team and a boss that you feel truly have your back, it can truly do wonders in helping make your experience feel like a good one! While I had some tough times, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity it provided. I worked with a wonderful team of people and I got to take away some valuable lessons. I learned that it’s not a loss if you have a difficult boss. In fact, learning what not to do and how not to treat people can often be just as valuable of a lesson, if not more.
In my job today, more often than not, I feel appreciated for the work that I do. Each month, me and my team have a partner’s session where we each get the opportunity to check in and share where we’re at. This opportunity allows us to both give and receive valuable feedback so that we all feel we are on the same page. Afterall, we are a team, and if one or more of us feels as though something is off, it’s important that we get that addressed! No team is perfect. There will be hiccups and bumps along the way. And yes, we’re bound to get pissed off with one another here and there. But to me, what makes the most significant difference is knowing that if something is coming up for me, whether it be a frustration, a question or an idea, I feel supported enough to bring it to my teams attention and if it weren’t for practicing strong and healthy communication, I wouldn’t be able to confidently say that!
What do you feel is most important to a company’s ability to be effective? How do you handle an issue when you’re feeling hurt or discomfort? I would really love to hear your thoughts below! As always, I deeply appreciate you being here with me and I look forward to learning how I can better be there for you too!