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How To Improve Workplace Communication August 13, 2010

Posted by Kevin Burns in #fff, #filterfreefriday, communication, corporate culture, culture, Employee Engagement, engagement, filter free friday, kevin burns, keynote speaker.

How many times have you read a memo that used so much jargon and “professionalese” that you had no idea what was being said? How many times have you read a report at work filled with gobbledy-gook phraseology and had no idea what point the writer was trying to make? What about managers who, in an effort not to stir up any controversy, use words so carefully that the point becomes unrecognizable?

Most times, people will hide behind not wanting to offend so badly that they offer nothing of substance to the conversation. They gasp with horror when someone says something so direct that they think someone might be offended by it. Is this your workplace? Everyone walks on eggshells so as not to offend? People swallow their feelings and ideas for fear of being singled out, ridiculed or hurting someone`s feelings?

So what do you do? You grit your teeth, stomach your way through it and resent your workplace. You protect yourself in an effort to not lose your mind? You begin to despise your job. You go home at day’s end and bitch about it to your spouse. Ooh, I’ll bet that makes the relationship special, huh?

Look, if you can’t offer up an idea or make a point without fear of recrimination in your workplace, then that Culture will suffocate you and your creativity. Engagement will drop. Morale will tumble. Productivity becomes barely non-existent.

That’s why you need to embrace to idea of Filter-Free Fridays™ in your workplace. Filter-Free Fridays™ rules are simple:

  • speak your truth in a non-hurtful way
  • if someone claims being offended ask them why directly and ask others if that person should be offended
  • do not bite your tongue or swallow your feelings
  • be direct but sensitive to others
  • be firm but not overbearing
  • honor yourself and refuse to be bound by conformity in making a point
  • encourage others to shed their “filters” and have an honest discussion for a change
  • take it slow – one day a week being direct to start and then progress from there

Practice by speaking up. Send the food back if you don’t like it, Refuse to accept sub-standard service and never using the word “fine” as an answer to “how was everything?” Because it’s Filter-Free Fridays™.



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