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"Communication" Does Not Communicate

Posted Jul 30 2012 7:22am

How many workplace issues are introduced to you as, "We've got a communication problem?"

Communication is a catch-all phrase. It's  generic, socially acceptable, and really just sends the signal that someone wants to start a conversation. But it probably won't end up being about communication.

Psychologists and counselors refer to these kinds of introductory pronouncements as "presenting" problems." They're  a call for help when someone doesn't know what to do or may not even be aware of the real issue.

Unless you know the genuine issue, you can spend a lot of time creating an elegant solution for the wrong problem.

In organizations, communication is the #1  presenting problem.

Dogs The next time someone lays a communication issue on you, follow through with:

"That sounds interesting. Help me out. Describe specifically what you see happening and why it's a problem."

You may discover that the Marketing group refused to follow guidelines from Research and ended up slightly misrepresenting a product.

You don't yet know the cause. But you do know the real situation and where to focus your energy.

How many presenting problems can you uncover today?

If you've got a favorite "presenting problem" story, toss it into the mix with a comment below. You may help someone else see how to probe and work on the right thing at the right time.

How about when " You Know The Words But Don't Understand the Meaning  ?" I recall an article my online friend Jackie Cameron wrote a while back that highlights a new communication challenge prompted by social media.


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