If talent, innovation, and extreme customer focus are the main drivers of success for your company, a fundamental element in making sure your organization runs well is ensuring that you have superb communications across all parts of the organization and to all stakeholders.

Chapter Three turns to the single biggest issue I face with all my clients worldwide: the lack of open, honest, robust, and courageous communication. Because the foundation of building an organization with superior communications is first that each individual in the organization has excellent interpersonal communication skills, the aim of this chapter is to simplify it and give you lots of real tools to help you personally improve your communication skills.

Additional Resources

Understanding & assessing interpersonal communications

Some good general facts about interpersonal communications:
www.pstcc.edu “Four Principles of Interpersonal Communication”

Several really good articles on interpersonal communication skills:
www.about.com “Effective Interpersonal Communication”

Some excellent portals here on communication, you have to register, but it’s free… and it is a good website too with lots of quality information:
jobfunctions.bnet.com “Developing Good Interpersonal Communication Skills”

Good resources for conflict resolution

An entire website dedicated to conflict resolution skills: www.crinfo.org

Recommended Reading

Communicating at Work

A straight-forward handbook to better business communication. Using real-life examples, it offers practical, easy-to-use instruction in writing effective memos and reports, making memorable presentations, and leading productive meetings. It also introduces key telephone skills, shows you how to interpret body language and personal communication styles — and teaches some good listening and questioning skills.

Crucial Confrontations

Teaches the skills to resolve touchy, controversial, and complex issues at work and at home. This is an excellent book with truly useful tools and ideas. I strongly recommend you read this one!

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most

Offers advice for handling, difficult, uncomfortable and unpleasant exchanges in a manner that accomplishes the results you were after while reducing the the possibility that anyone will be needlessly hurt. Lots of clear examples and some very good tools.

The Great Game of Business

A classic on the topic of transparency and sharing information that essentially launched the “open book management” style of running a company. This book dramatically impacted my thinking on employee communication and inclusion. Their follow-up book: A Stake in the Outcome: Building a Culture of Ownership for the Long-Term Success of Your Business is also very useful.

Working with Emotional Intelligence

This book takes the concepts from Daniel Goleman’s bestseller, Emotional Intelligence, and describes how they apply to the workplace. Based on research done by dozens of experts in 500 corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations worldwide, Goleman concludes that emotional intelligence is the barometer of excellence on virtually any job.

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