Want a successful business? – Communication is always the key!


Published: 12 Oct 2019


It’s never been more apparent in business that the layers that make up communication are getting more and more complex.

Take any random human being in any business and you will find a unique mix of pre-conditioning from their childhood role model and influencers from their current life – social media, colleagues, people who inspire them.

Make an allowance for the generational context – most businesses now have four different generations of people working for them from Boomers, to Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z. I predict that very soon, (if not already) businesses will need an interpreter or ‘Genterpreter™’ as we move towards more Gen Z hitting the workforce in the next five years?

Add their own preferred (or what is working for them right now) communication style – passive, assertive, aggressive, passive-aggressive or compassionate assertive, and how introverted or extroverted they are. Then add any disorders they may be living with such as: anxiety, OCD, PTSD, ADHD, phobias.

Ask them how they like to learn and you may be surprised. People learn best either in visual, audio, or written form, and what suits one person would terrify another. Not everyone likes huge manuals to read, and would prefer a simple job card with bullet points and images for example. Some people take in things straight away with a verbal instruction or prefer to watch and work shadow.

Now top it all off with individual people in their life that they have come across or events they have lived through. These people and events can trigger certain emotions, communication and body language if put into similar situations, long after the event has passed, or the person has exited their life. Someone who has lived with, or worked for a narcissist for example has this very high on their personal radar and can spot it really quickly. This can cause many different reactions from submissive and passive to dismissive, aggressive, or more direct.

You essentially have a minefield of different people all in one place aiming to work towards a common goal – a successfully functioning business. It would be foolhardy and delusional then, to not consider communication a pivotal ingredient of any workforce where the expectation is not only a successful business, but happy people!

Business is not complex, and unless you are a rocket scientist it’s not rocket science. It’s simple.

Figure out what makes your people tick. Surround them with who and what they need to overcome things they need to, and excel at what they excel at. Make people feel accomplished, capable, valued and heard – and they will show you just how amazing they are.

Get the analysis accurate of who and what you are working with in the beginning and 90% of the work is done. Your life will be easier from then on. Don’t do that and merely stumble along every day guessing, assuming, and letting your ego think only you can and should have the answers – and you will be fire fighting for ever more.

Even better if you are recruiting, figure out what type of person you need to complement your existing fully functioning team. If you have profiled more than 50% of your team as passive for example, you won’t want another passive person, especially in a management role. If you’ve worked hard to stamp out passive aggressive behaviour then ask questions at interview or even more proactively in the advertisement for the role that deter passive aggressive people applying or – make it obvious that they would not be a good fit for your business.

This has two advantages:

  1. It cuts down on the people you have to sift out that apply. You may get 75% less applicants, but the ones who do apply should fit your profile.
  2. It sends a powerful message out to the world in anyone that sees it or talks about it, about what your brand and business stands for.

So, a business not wanting to attract anymore passive aggressive people once they have magically got rid of them all might place an ad that sounds like:

We operate a business where communication flows, our people are direct communicators, and we work on a principle of ‘see it, say it’. If you think this is you, then you could be the person we are looking for to add to our team.

If you are looking for a more outgoing, assertive or compassionately assertive person to compliment your management team the ad might sound like:

If directing people to get the best out of them is your super power, and your communication style could be described as compassionately assertive then you may be who we are looking for?

Our style of people management is question based, encouraging, and raises self-awareness of actions and behaviour. If this sounds like you, apply here.

Take a fresh look at the make up of your team, and the individuals within it with new eyes – you might be surprised at what you see…..and what you have missed!

Need help in wording your next job ad, 1-1 coaching on anything communication, figuring out and profiling the communication dynamics and tipping points of your team? Then shout out  steph@elementalpotential.com

I created and deliver an incredibly insightful workshop for businesses called Revive. Check it out on the services page.




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