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Intent, that’s where communication begins

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The other day while browsing through my network updates on LinkedIn, something very interesting caught my attention. One of my connections had updated her new job and new title on her LinkedIn profile. There were several congrats and likes on this update. And then there was this comment from one of my connection’s connection that made me have one of those ‘really?’ moments. This person had congratulated my connection and then asked my connection (with all her 500+ connections in attendance) about who would be handling their company’s account now that my connection was no longer with the company!

As we get more plugged into social media platforms and online networking, it is hard to believe that we are not getting any better at communication. Can you imagine what kind of communication is going on when a customer doesn’t know that his/her key contact person has left the company a good one month back. To top it, he/she learns about it from somewhere else. I am not sure in the case above what was the intent on part of the organization for not sharing the departure of their key customer contact. Or maybe it just fell through the crack. Both, in my opinion, need some thinking through. The customer did come to know eventually and the lack of an official communication on this matter sure seemed to have thrown her a bit.

This brings us back to the basics of communication. Communication (from Latin commūnicāre) means "to share". So the ‘intent of sharing’ needs to be established for communication to take place. We all know that in this day and age, people are constantly relaying information, so the idea of ‘no intent' of sharing can be very difficult to act upon. If not you, someone else will share. Therefore it is important for organizations to have the intent to share the information that needs to be communicated in a timely manner and in a particular format. It is better to present upfront what you have to say without being drawn into a situation where you have to provide explanations. Timely, proactive and intentional communication also establishes trust and respect between parties. The mechanics of how to communicate and when to communicate can fall in place once the intention to communicate is established.

In an earlier article, I had written about how LinkedIn could be used as an employee engagement tool (http://www.examiner.com/article/linkedin-as-an-employee-engagement-tool). I still believe that there is a need for a LinkedIn style tool for communication within an organization where employees can share information that they wouldn’t normally share via emails/phone calls/meetings. As to how the customer in this case could have been informed about the change. Someone within the organization just needed to know that this was an important piece of communication that needed to happen. Which brings us back to the ‘intent’.

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