Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Communication dysfunction

Communication - I saw both sides of it today and it both frustrated me and delighted me.

I currently work on an IT implementation project team and it's like being a part of one big dysfunctional family.

Combine some of the greatest minds from our numerous company's, with some of the best consultants in the business, then throw in a massive workload, tight deadlines, heaps of frustrations and mix it all up with zero ability to communicate effectively.

I'm only the communication lead for the project and the management of the project team is not in my job role, but to say this is a frustrating situation would be an understatement.. If this were my boys failing so badly to communicate with me, then I'd give them a slap around the ear, a kick in the pants and a 'get it together' speech.

So I've had a few tries at the 'get it together ' speeches for the team members who are not happy with the situation and they seem to listen ~ momentarily ~ and then they fall back into old, bad extremely painful habits.

I'm not really in a position to kick the pants of a group of adults acting like children. Although years ago I wrestled my oldest son to the ground and sat on his chest to make him listen to me in one of his more frustrating teen moments. Not sure that's entirely appropriate in this situation, but shit it would make me feel better.

Communication glitches - my entire laptop screen just flashed up a 'Mozilla is not responding' message and the screen went blank for several very long seconds. Luckily, Blogger does regular saves.

So anyway my hour long drive home tonight was me rehashing my day in my head and wondering how the hell we fix this situation and get these grown men and women communicating well or at all. The reality is that our success hinges largely on whether we can achieve what we need to in the set time that we have to do so. We can only do that if we're all communicating well and are on the same page

Now for the other end of the communication stick. We had parent / teacher interviews at my youngest's new school tonight. That's the new school that is now sucking up large quantities of our weekly income.

It was positive, glowing communication. My son is a star and has fit into his new school as if he's always been there. His teachers couldn't say enough good things about him and his achievements both academically and socially. I so needed the positive exchange of words and feedback, it made my day so much better.

...and further communication positivity to end out my day. My eldest son rang tonight to say grandson wanted to say a word or two to me. I laughed and figured I'd humour him, after all 11 month old babies don't say alot. Son told him to say hello to nani and he did plain as day and not once but three times in a row - no mistaking it.

I laughed with delight, out loud, in the middle of the supermarket.

Communication when done well should be able to inform, educate and even sometimes delight. We should communicate for understanding not simply for an opportunity to reply. Now I just need to figure out how to gently inject (slam) that into the brains of one or two stubborn individuals in our project team - or die trying.

Communicate well my friends

Cheers, Fi

Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood ~ Leo Rosten


  1. How delightful to hear your grandson communicate with you; I'm sure he will be a great communicator as he continues to grow and mature! WTG to your son for his school achievements!! Hoping the workplace's communication gets a bit better in the days to come; that is a long commute you have indeed!


  2. Thanks Betty. Yes commute is long, 40 -45 on a good day, 1hr on a challenging day.

  3. I love that quote. Being understood is so important. I think that's what makes communication so difficult sometimes.

    1. Communication does my head in some days Karen

  4. What a beautiful post Fi -- not the part about frustration at work... but the part about your family and grandson and hearing his words - wow!!!! Love all that :)


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