The Importance of Good Communication

Have you ever been in that situation where you said the right thing in the wrong way? Or in the wrong context? I have found myself, on many occasions, completely missing the mark while intending nothing but the best. So many issues in life and business boil down to mixed communications. Therefore, it’s not surprising that 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Through many successes and failures in communication, I have learned to boil things down to three things:


  • Message (What) – Words are powerful. Good news, bad news, constructive criticism, etc…in every scenario, it is important to “think before you speak”. Truly dissect the message itself to understand exactly what it is that needs to be communicated.
  • Method (How) – How something is communicated is just as important as what needs to be communicated. Should it be “in the moment” or can it wait? Should it be in person? Can it be a text or email? Will a phone call suffice? Should it even be communicated from me or a “person of peace”, a supervisor, or a trusted third party? Should someone else be present as a mediator or translator? How something is communicated needs to also take into consideration the style of the receiver…are they a processor? How do they appreciate communication? It is important to know these things to ensure context and setting are proper factors in your communication.
  • Motive (Why) – This is often the overlooked aspect of communication and the one that gets many people into trouble interpersonally. In fact, many of the conflicts that emerge are when the motive is assumed and not dissected. Which is why it is important when you are communicating (in any situation) to truly understand your goals and desired outcomes. What are your motives? If it is criticism or harsh in any way…you need to be extra judicious in constructing the appropriate method and message to ensure proper delivery and reception. The other benefit of FIRST questioning your own motive, will be you may learn it’s better left unspoken. Speaking harshly in anger or frustration with the desire to do harm are not good motives in any relationship. Again, words are powerful. The adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” is a bunch of malarky! Words often create more lasting injury and we need to be thoughtful in our communication at all times – questioning our own motives as we go.

Communication is KEY to any relationship. And the right communication can build – while bad communication deteriorates even the best of relationships over time. Good communication reinforces trust and builds unity. Bad communication causes confusion and people to question the authenticity of the other party.

Communication is a Two-Way Street

It is an intentional exchange of information and ideas to build one another up and move things forward. If confusion exists, either party has a responsibility to dissect the circumstance and gain clarity. A major part of this aspect of the process, however, is to not assume bad motive…if someone communicates poorly, it is your responsibility as the receiver to ask questions and to dissect things before assuming ill-intent…first seek clarity on whether it was simply poor communication practice versus something more. Again, a person can say the right thing in the wrong way and it be bad communication – and it doesn’t necessarily mean they intended harm, either. Any relationship (whether family, friend or work) requires effort – and generally areas of miscommunication lead to the most heartache. And while you are at it, share how the miscommunication made you feel and what your preferred method for communication is in the future. The best way to maintain unity and avoid a breakdown in trust is to have clear and honest conversations at every opportunity.

Message. Method. Motive…let’s work to be more thoughtful in our communication. When it comes to words, less is better than more – “the more we talk, the more likely our tongue will lead us into a trap” (Proverbs 10:19).

This article was originally published on Bryce Butler’s Substack, More Than ProfitSubscribe to be the first to access new articles.

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