Rita Mulcahy, PMP says that ‘90% of projects fail due to poor communication.’How true it is! The project environment is now a virtual global village where the client is in Australia, the contractor is in Germany and the consultant is in India.
The sender can only apply ‘Best practices‘ to have his message across but can’t be hold responsible for being completely understood by the recipient. I am saying this because of the perceptual issues pertaining within the ideologies of sender and receivers. I feel-the communication model (see graphic above) gets defeated right at the moment when the sender forgets to take the feedback from the receiver. Indian corporate environment is suffering majorly because the senior management does not have transparent info sharing with the executives and they hardly take any feedback. Employee satisfaction survey is a pretty yearly HR task only. Efforts are made to have a wafer thin middle level management resulting in full exposure of executives’ activities to the senior management. It is important to understand the relevance of having middle level management in corporate sector. Any employee can be made self motivated if he has someone in the management whom he can trust. Trust builds by sharing. It is very important to have a mentor in your professional life- whom you look up to. Mentor can generate the feeling of ‘belongingness’ in the employee. Lack of communication is the major factor in terms of high level of attrition rate in IT sector significantly. The moment the top level management fails to connect – the middle level and lower level loses its faith. It is human nature and not a scientific theory that will require any kind of hypothesis or assumptions. An employee will definitely leave the current job opportunity and move ahead in search of challenging work environment, self actualization need satiation or the clichéd raking of moolah.
Communication with the subordinates is entirely based upon Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The manager who has understood the pyramids of it is the one who will command charismatic leadership qualities within his subordinates. Leadership comes by personality- this is what I believe in. Even if the leadership is bestowed upon someone by age/lineage/genealogy/line in organization- it is entirely the matter of your personality that makes you a LEADER. Prince Charles will never be accepted by public of Britain as the heir to the throne as he is not having that personality which will win the hearts of Britons. A dictator will be a leader but will always remain a bad influence throughout in our minds. Ravana was great learned scholar but still all we remember about him is his misdeeds.
I was working in an organization wherein we had monthly review meetings or One on One. The manager chose to close the eyes to every feedback given by us. It was quite widespread negativism in the organization and the management chose to follow Gandhi’s principle- only difference being it chose everything not jus evil!
It is very important to give credits when they are due- there’s nothing in this world as a compliment or recognition of your work. Imagine how great a CEO will feel if a new graduate trainee compliments him on his leadership style. That CEO has by far attained all the needs of the pyramid and then a compliment from a young blood B-School educated trainee infuses energy and self belief in his traditional thinking. And how wonderful it is vice versa- a CEO applauding his new graduate trainee for his new innovative ideas and telling him- he sees bright future for him. What more does the CEO/trainee require? It’s all the magic of COMMUNICATION.
Coming back to PM Guru Rita Mulcahy’s quote- you must be pondering why communication fails? I am not using fancy terms here to explain why communication fails. Communication fails primarily because of the following factors:
- a) Message was not in a medium the receiver could understand (I spoke in fluent English with Arab customer)
- b) We didn’t take feedback (Did my contractor received the contract agreement- let me assume he did and he will come back fighting after two months he didn’t -Oops MY BAD!!!)
- c) Perception issues – selective retention, halo effect, gender bias (Asians are not great at management- hell I am going to pass this project to someone else)
- d) Environmental barriers like -physical domains, disturbances, volume, noise, distractions etc. (Sorry the line is breaking-hello……….can you please be louder-there’s a train passing behind)
So as I said in my previous topic ‘Project Management for dummies’ I say here yet again the power is in
DISCUSS DISCUSS AND DISCUSS! SHARE SHARE AND SHARE!!!
Be back with some more interesting concepts.