Workplaces are complex social systems that rely on good communications and the ability to engage and work with differences in opinions, ideas and knowledge without becoming argumentative to bring out the best in individuals and the organisation as a whole.
With training and positive intent most managers and supervisors can become highly effective communicators, simultaneously enhancing performances, relationships and organisational culture.
Sometimes the same words have different meanings for different people, taking on different shades according to methods of delivery, contexts, relationships and moods. To create a workplace with very few misunderstandings, it is necessary for managers to be skilled at written, spoken and non-verbal communications about things as big as organisational purpose and as small as task detail.
Disagreement quickly escalates to conflict and the outcome is redefined emotionally and personally, with little room for rationality and none for creativity.
As a result, the business loses its capacity to engage with and benefit from its people, wasting a valuable resource and putting itself at a competitive disadvantage.
Many managers can also become skilled at diffusing and resolving conflict in ways that build relationships, understanding and cooperation. In our work we regularly use these skills to solve interpersonal problems and create great solutions, so we know they work.
It includes the skill of collaboration, where leaders learn to draw the best out of others to build more complete ideas and create more innovative solutions. Benefits include reduced conflict, improved cooperation and stronger relationships within an engaged, results-focused culture.