From workshop participants
While I had done a lot of work in the past on becoming aware and staying with my feelings, it was good to have the value of this affirmed, and to receive more input in the workshop. The content helps me stay with valuing my own feelings and needs. I valued the four stages of the process - good pointers for completing a communication process that is authentic without being threatening or manipulative or violent.
I very much appreciated being taught by someone (yourself) who is actively using the process.
You gave us so much to think on. I love the freedom it gives one to get on and just live. No more projecting and no more analyzing. We just do it without thinking, which is why the course is so valuable.
Industry Communications Case Study
I was asked by an Organisational Effectiveness (OE) manager (in the resources sector) to review the communication plan for rolling out a new staff performance review system. The OE team took onboard input from employees before designing the system and now wanted to communicate it clearly, simply, and on time.
I found the draft communication to be very concise, highly integrated, attractively presented and meeting what I understood to be the needs of senior managers and OE, but I was concerned that the communication would not address the needs of the workplace. I asked to visit the site where the majority of employees were located – to listen to their questions and concerns and discern with them the key needs regarding the system being communicated. I heard that they were feeling anxious, fearful, cynical, hopeful and unsure. They needed clarity, understanding, confidence, trust, respect and simplicity.
On my return to the OE team, I communicated my findings, coaching and supporting the team to more fully address their desired brief. As a result, they decided to:
- Sacrifice the concise and highly integrated nature of the communication, breaking it down into key illustrated messages, where each message built on the previous one to create a narrative - with space for repetition and questions along the way.
- Print the system documents in black and white (as employees had indicated to me that they did not trust coloured, glossy presentations).
- Have the team leaders share the system information with their teams – rather than having managers present the information.
The communication was completed by the agreed date, and a follow-up survey indicated that employee needs for understanding, clarity, confidence, trust, respect and simplicity were fully met. I met with the OE team to debrief the learning, focusing on how to listen for the needs hidden beneath people’s feelings and moral judgments of others, and what it is to be more aware of what gets in the way of creating the communication outcomes they desire.