The cause, and solution, to all our problems
“The problem is communication.”
“The solution to our problem is better communications.”
I hear variations of these all the time. Hell, I’ve even said it myself.
It means something different every time. While the situation, the participants, and the needs vary, what I think sits behind the communications paradox is this.
Communications becomes a proxy for relationships. It’s easier to blame ‘communications’, especially if someone else is responsible, than acknowledge an underlying cause. It takes time, effort, and some vulnerability, to build relationships, to admit there’s stuff you don’t know, to listen to a diversity of views, and to be changed by the people you work with. It’s probably not on anyone’s performance plan or stated as a KPI.
Work towards better communications. Yes. And don’t forget better relationships as well.