Insights with Dzigbordi K. Dosoo; The art of positive communication:..a journey to understanding yourself and others

Positive conflicts in the workplace

The business world has gone through some major changes in recent years, and the way companies communicate with employees and stakeholders hasn’t been left out. With the rise of new technologies and changing workplace culture, the way organisations communicate horizontally and downward has changed a lot. Let’s dive in and explore the history of communication in organisations and how it’s evolved in leading businesses worldwide.

Good communication is key to any successful organisation as it allows companies to share information, ideas and instructions with their employees and stakeholders. There are two main types of communication that happen in organisations: horizontal communication between employees at the same level, and downward communication from higher-ups to those in lower positions.

Gone are the days where communication was just a one-way street, flowing only downward from the higher-ups. Nowadays, there’s a big emphasis on horizontal communication and a more democratic, collaborative approach to communication. So let’s take a look at how these two forms of communication have evolved in the business world.

Back in the day, communication in organisations was all about hierarchy, with information flowing only downward. But as businesses grew and became more complex, it became clear that this approach was limiting and not very efficient.

Mid-20th century management theorists started calling for a more democratic and collaborative approach to communication in organisations. They believed that involving employees in decision-making and encouraging open communication would lead to increased creativity, innovation and productivity. And this idea caught on, with horizontal communication becoming more prominent in the business world.

New technologies have had a huge impact on the way organisations communicate. With the widespread use of email, instant messaging and video conferencing, it’s easier than ever for companies to communicate horizontally and for employees to share ideas and collaborate in real-time.

Social media has also created new opportunities for companies to communicate with their stakeholders. Many businesses now use social media to engage with customers, share news and updates, and gather feedback. This has led to a more open and democratic form of communication, with companies no longer relying solely on traditional channels like press releases and ads.

The evolution of downward communication

Downward communication is a critical aspect of any successful organisation as it allows those in higher positions to convey important information, instructions and policies to those in lower positions. Over the years, the way that companies communicate downward has undergone significant changes, adapting to the evolving needs of businesses and employees.

In the early days of business, downward communication was typically hierarchical, with information flowing from those in positions of power to those below them. This approach was seen as necessary to maintain order and control within organisations, but it was also limiting and inefficient. Employees had little room for feedback or input, and communication was often one-way and unidirectional.

However, in recent years, there has been a shift toward more collaborative and democratic forms of downward communication. Many organisations now use regular town hall meetings, employee surveys, and other channels to gather feedback and engage employees. This approach has been shown to increase employee satisfaction, engagement and motivation, leading to improved performance and productivity.

The advent of new technologies has also had a significant impact on downward communication. The widespread adoption of video conferencing, instant messaging, and email has made it easier for companies to communicate with employees, regardless of their location. This has allowed leaders to stay connected with their teams and to convey important information in real-time.

In conclusion, the evolution of downward communication in the business environment reflects the changing needs of companies and employees. While hierarchical approaches to communication were once seen as necessary, the shift toward more democratic and collaborative forms of communication has improved relationships, increased engagement and motivation, and led to better performance and productivity. As businesses continue to evolve, it is likely that downward communication will continue to adapt and change, reflecting the changing needs of the workplace.

The impact of the pandemic on communication in organisations

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the way organisations communicate, with many companies shifting to remote work, and relying on digital technologies to keep in touch with employees and stakeholders. This change has brought both pros and cons. On the bright side, remote work makes it easier for companies to communicate horizontally, as employees can collaborate from anywhere. And with video conferencing and other digital tools, downward communication can still happen regularly, keeping employees informed and connected.

But remote work also has its challenges, especially when it comes to downward communication. It can be a bit of a struggle to convey important information and instructions to employees who aren’t physically in the office; and remote work can lead to feelings of isolation, making it harder for companies to maintain open lines of communication.

With more and more companies embracing remote work and virtual communication, it’s essential to find ways to make sure everyone stays connected and on the same page. Here are some techniques to help you improve virtual communication without adding any extra stress:

  • Listen up

Just like in real life, active listening is key for effective virtual communication. Encourage your team to give their full attention and ask questions or share their thoughts. This will help everyone stay on track and avoid any mix-ups.

  • Video chatting is a plus

Videoconferencing is a great tool for improving virtual communication as it lets you see and hear each other in real-time. Try to use videoconferencing for your team check-ins, meetings and other important conversations. It’ll help everyone feel more connected and involved.

  • Clear communication channels are a must

When communicating virtually, it’s important to have clear communication channels in place. This could be regular email updates, instant messaging, or a project management platform. By having clear communication channels, you can minimise confusion and make sure everyone has the information they need to do their best work.

  • Open communication is key

Open communication is a must for virtual teams as it allows everyone to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and give feedback. Encourage your team to share their thoughts and ideas, and create a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable doing so. This will help foster a culture of open and effective communication, which is essential for growth and innovation.

I believe there are basic pillars that can help to facilitate positive communication, whether horizontally or downwards. Positive communication is the foundation of trust, respect and understanding, and is essential for building stronger and more fulfilling relationships. Here are the 4 keys to positive communication:

  1. Clarity: Speak clearly and concisely to ensure that your message is understood. Avoid using vague or ambiguous language; rather, express yourself in a straightforward and easy-to-understand manner. Research has shown that clear communication reduces misunderstandings and improves relationships.
  2. Respect: Show respect for others by listening actively, avoiding judgment, and acknowledging their perspectives and feelings. When communication is respectful, it creates a safe and supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and ideas. Studies have shown that respectful communication leads to increased trust and satisfaction in relationships.
  3. Empathy: Try to understand and share the feelings of others. Empathy allows you to connect with others on a deeper level and respond in a way that is supportive and caring. When communication is empathetic, it reduces conflicts and misunderstandings, and increases feelings of closeness and satisfaction. Research has shown that empathetic communication leads to stronger and more fulfilling relationships.
  4. Authenticity: Be genuine and authentic in your communication. Speak from the heart and avoid saying things that you don’t mean. Authenticity creates trust and strengthens relationships as others can see that you are genuine and sincere in your communication. Research has shown that authentic communication leads to increased trust, respect and satisfaction in relationships.

In conclusion, positive communication is a crucial factor in achieving success and happiness in both personal and professional relationships. By adopting these 4 keys, individuals can cultivate stronger, more fulfilling relationships through open and effective communication. It is important to remember that communication is a two-way street, and both parties must make an effort to listen, understand and respond in a positive manner. With the right approach, positive communication can lead to stronger, more satisfying relationships in all areas of life.

Unlock Your Communication Potential! Join us for a transformative coaching event on communication, designed to help you understand yourself and others better. This interactive session will be led by the experienced communication coach, Dzigbordi Dosoo, who will guide you through practical techniques and strategies for improving your communication skills. Whether you’re looking to enhance your personal relationships or build stronger professional connections, this event is for you. Don’t miss this opportunity to take your communication to the next level. Register now!

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