If we think about it, we can probably find shared experiences for every human being throughout the world. However, just because we have all experienced something, it does not mean we all experienced it in the same way.
High school for some was a glorious time full of fond memories and future promise, yet for others, it was a time of despair, survival, and a time to be forgotten. The same could be said for going to the grocery store because depending on your neighborhood, it could have been a fun trip or you were running a precarious gauntlet.
In business (and in life), the first step to proper communication is to recognize that our experiences and our motivations are different (remember different, not better nor worse). As a manager, in order to understand why your staff comes to work every day, you must make the effort to know who they are as people. Common ground can be built from knowing who your people truly are.
Be careful not to casually dismiss someone else’s reaction to a situation, do not be so quick to tell them to “get over” something; especially if you have not made the effort to know more about them. This does not mean we excuse everyone’s bad behavior; this is more about generalizing, and thinking one size fits all. This is especially true in trying to understand cultural differences.
How we try communicate versus what we are actually communicating, can be the difference between closing a deal, retaining a good employee, and losing a deal, losing that good employee to another company.
Are you aware of how you communicate? Do you adjust your communication style to fit your audience? Or are you the type of person who believes everything should be adjusted to you?
These are things to ponder: lesson from an MBA Program.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III