“If you could improve one thing about the way you communicate, what would it be?”
Right now, I reckon the vast majority of us would answer some version of …. “Have more face to face interactions!” Many of us are less comfortable engaging in virtual communication, but we’re getting better at it. We’re undoubtedly better at Zoom/Microsoft Teams/Slack today than we were two weeks ago and we’ll be better at it when we don’t need it all day long.
The virtual channels certainly present their own unique challenges and thankfully the internet is teeming with useful resources to help us find our footing. But what about the actual content of our communication? That's still a very important issue for many us. So back to that question.
What one thing would you most like to improve about the way you communicate?
I always pose this question to participants at the beginning of workshops. I always note their responses down in black or purple spiral notebooks. When the last page of each book is filled out, I place it in a lower compartment of my bookshelf and crack open a new book. There they are, at the bottom right.
I’ve never thrown these books away. Recently, (thanks Covid!), I decided to mine the data in these books. I ran the numbers - there are more than 4000 responses collected over the last 10 years as I worked across industries, levels and continents. I ran the numbers to understand which aspects of communication were the most challenging. I ran the numbers because I am intrigued to know whether these challenges are increasing, remaining constant or decreasing, in this virtual world we are now in.
Want to know what my data told me about the leading communication challenges?
What about you?
What about key people on your team?
Is your challenge in the top 3?