In a networking event I attended recently we were reviewing the organization's core principles. One of the group’s core principles is communication. Knowing my line of work, the president of the local chapter asked me to say a few words about the importance of communication and why this would be a core value for the organization. My response: “communication is at the core of all relationships.” It’s honestly why I do what I do - at least one of the biggest reasons.
Any relationship you have, whether personal or professional, the quality and depth of that relationship is directly tied to the quality and depth of communication.
There is true power in communication.
A single conversation can build us up and have us feeling like we can take on the world or diminish us to the point of questioning everything.
When we routinely communicate with someone, we feel closer to them. If that routine communication is positive and healthy, we feel trust and connection. If that routine communication is negative or toxic, we become distrustful and may even start to avoid contact.
When someone fails to communicate with us we tend to either forget about them, or resent them. We may question why we are being ignored and insecurities may flourish, or we may just not think about them at all.
Of course, there are those rare people in our lives that we can go weeks, months, or even years without talking to and when we finally get together it’s like no time has passed at all – but these are the exceptions, not the norm. We should feel grateful for these types of connections, but not hold them as a benchmark. (And more than likely when you do reconnect with this type of friend, you end up saying you shouldn’t wait so long to talk again.)
From your direct reports to your customers, the quality of that relationship is tethered to the quality of communication.
How frequently are you connecting – genuinely and authentically connecting?
Do you connect when things are going well or only when something goes wrong, or you need something?
Do you demonstrate intentional effort and keep the communication a priority?
Take stock of your relationships and honestly reflect on the quality of communication you put forth and identify any areas/relationships where you could do a little bit better.