Communication Breakdown (not about Led Zeppelin)

The famous Irish playwright and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature Edward Bernard Shaw once said that “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” Think about how pervasive this comment is. It can be applied to organizations with 2000 members and it’s true all the way down to 2 people. Perhaps the single most obvious example is marriage. A marriage is doomed to fail if the couple does not effectively communicate. The goals and aspirations of organizations whether large or small will fail unless effective communication has taken place. 

The bigger the project or organization, the more critical communication becomes. The Tower of Babel failed because the builders were caused to speak different languages which ultimately led to a failure in communication. Simply destroy the communication lifeline of any organization of people and their common goals and purposes will be thwarted. 

In a business, management must share the direction and vision for the company to the employees. And the employees must have a way to share their thoughts and be encouraged to ask questions, give feedback and generally feel connected with the overall purpose of the company.

When churches, schools, clubs, associations and organizations have two-way communications between the organization and it’s members the level member satisfaction is increased and the members ultimately feel more connected.

What happens when 2 people fail to communicate? What happens to an organization when organizational communications are not properly addressed? Why is communication constantly identified as a chief complaint among members of thousands of organizations? How do we use technology and sort through what actually enhances communication and what hinders it?

Communication is important on a personal level. It’s likely that my friends will chuckle when they find out I’m blogging about communications. After all, I often fail to return phone calls or initiate conversation with my closet companions. And don’t let my wife begin to tell you how well I’ve been known to listen.