3 Tips To Avoid Getting “Lost In Transmission”
“Fox & Geese” “Freeze” “Mother May I?” “Eight and Back” “Capture the Flag” Sound familiar? Well, you might have to think way back to grade school, but those neighborhood games are classic and span generations. One of our personal favorites? “Chinese Whispers” (or “Telephone”)
hands-down. Remember how that worked? The first person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player reveals the message to the entire group. Of course, what makes the game so funny – and frankly, so very relatable – is how the errors mount in the retellings. So, that final ‘reveal’ is typically unrecognizable to the first person’s whisper. Why is the retelling always a disaster? Well, surely there are players that purposefully mess up (saboteurs if you will). But just as often, it’s because there are just too many layers and filters. Things are bound to get lost in the transmission. The same could be said for employee communications. Between the layers of management and the filtering inherent in any hierarchy, significant barriers for employees attempting to send feedback or other communication to higher-level management are inevitable. By now, we know that effective internal business communication involves removing barriers to upward communication
. So, how can a company avoid communications that get lost in the transmission? Here are some suggestions.
- Listen Up It’s not just hearing the words. Hearing, rather than listening is a big barrier to upward communication. Rather than pricking up your ears, really listen. Understand and internalize the meaning. Because if you don’t listen, you’ll likely miss some important feedback. So consider implementing listening strategies, like reflective listening and active listening which can help prevent the hearing barrier.
- Identify the People Barriers Remember the saboteurs? It might be fun to throw a wrench into a game of “telephone,” but it’s not so fun when we’re talking about actual people barriers. These are the folks that get in the way literally and figuratively by distorting or misrepresenting employee feedback.
- Get thee a Feedback Channel Companies need a medium through which workers can exchange ideas with management anonymously, and also invite workers to share feedback through discussions with managers. Naturally, we’re going to suggest a PoPin session. We provide a platform to let you have important conversations with 100’s or 1000’s of employees/partners/customers, as if it is 1:1 conversation.