3 tips to strengthen communication following Chichen Itza's style
Chichen Itza has vestiges ranging from 300 b.C. Kukulkan pyramid is its most representative structure, and surprisingly it’s still standing. And what has this Mayan site to do with how you communicate and interact with others?
First, remember that Kukulkan has a large base, in fact, it measures 60 meters (~197 ft) on each of its sides, which enables it to support the weight of the tons of rocks building it. It has proved successful at surviving time, weather effects and the ever-growing Yucatecan jungle.
Whenever you want to reach higher heights, you (and/or your organization) need a strong base that enables your growth. Because communication is a skill you develop and you grow on.
In your company, of course, other things matter, such as your product, service, technology, logistics, or your infrastructure. However, how solid your business is, depends on how you and each of your collaborators actually execute; and each interaction is based on communication.
Given this, you’ll agree that even with the best strategy, tactics or processes… you’ll still need effective communication to go over your daily activities efficiently; even reducing time and resources, to strengthen your business and achieve your goals.
I’ll share with you 3 things you can start using immediately and will help you improve and solidify your pyramid base.
1. One clear, sticky phrase to easily share your goal
I understand you, every challenge you face and the problem your business solves has its complexities and you value and emphasize several objectives at once: commonly quality, innovation, cost, on-time delivery…
However, I recommend going deep into the “core” of your organization purpose and have a clear phrase which is easy to communicate at all levels. This way you’ll see more efficiency at all levels, while also facilitating decision making.
For example, if you were producing X “at the lowest price”, this is then, the main axis at all times. Which means, suppose an important client asked you a faster delivery; you acknowledge the importance of delivering on an ideal customer’s time range. So the person in charge of managing this account, will not go straight to push Production or Distribution. Why? Because your first and foremost goal is to have the lowest price. So this person would involve the Master Planner and Finance to evaluate the requirements and anticipation to accept orders and make sure you fulfill delivery without compromising operational costs.
2. Good feedback
Communication among all team members at all levels must be effective. Every day, without sometimes being conscious of it, we give and receive feedback. Out of the several ways of making it effective; whenever you’ll give a comment or opinion, make it count. A proven way for us will ask you to follow these steps at this exact order:
- First mention the positive things or whatever you agree or like about the situation (it may be a process, an improvement idea, an evaluation, a client’s deal or ticket…)
- Mention whatever confused you - considering the goal of this particular situation; maybe you’re unclear of a behavior or the reasoning behind an idea
- Highlight the points to which you disagree, if and only if you have even the slightest idea of how to make it better
3. Adjust corporate language style
With language, I ain’t referring to German, English, Japanese or Spanish… it’s the emphasis of every dialogue within teams. Linked to the 2 prior points, the most important thing to keep in mind is the end-goal.
I’ll exemplify it with a parent-kid situation:
You are the father and are teaching your kid how to bike. As you go, suddenly you see a pothole in the road and say “Careful with the pothole, you may fall… pay attention! There’s a pothole in front of you, kid you’re going to fall in the hole…”
From this line, what do you think happens next?
Yes, your kid most probably fell in the pothole.
Now, the same situation, “Look left the pothole, it’s free, move to that direction… slow down a little and hold firm, keep going this way, you can do it…”
Do you think it makes a difference?
You can have a positive impact on all your coworkers and on overall results. Ideally everyone, but you can start with leaders and influencers to focus on solutions, even on informal chats at the halls or cafeteria. You’ll see progress very soon.
Organization communication influences potential customers, current ones and in-house collaborators. Influences on how they perceive your business value, and on how clear the objective of every interaction is. Remember that the message is important, but the style - the how we communicate - is as important.
You may now be wondering, where do I begin?
What we’ve seen works best is to start with a select group of team leaders and influencers; perhaps 30 people maximum.
This is a good size so throughout time, they can exchange frequently experiences and know-how.
Remember the drops of rain make a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by oft falling.
You can start working on these 3 tips to strengthen the base of your organizational structure. And survive, just as the Kukulkan’s temple in Yucatan, time, challenges, and more.
Now that you’re visualizing how to apply these 3 communication aspects to your daily life and work.
Have you thought of the benefits a change in your communication style or leadership in some of your teams can bring?
Tell me, which challenges are you currently facing?