Why communication is the most common problem. What this says about your workplace (Blog #21)

a person confused

Whether you’ve already started working in the corporate world or have yet to begin, one of the most common problems you’ll come across is communication.

And when I say common, basically, it’ll be the one that people will more openly complain about. “There’s a lack of communication.” Which pretty much means that no one really knows what’s happening.

And it’s easy and safe to point out. When I say safe, what I mean is that it doesn’t really point the finger at anyone in particular and implies that the problem is company-wide. It’s bigger than all of us combined.

But what does this really point out?

So there’s a lack of communication. And most people that point this out really feel as though they’ve hit the nail on the head with identifying the problem. Yep, they really know what they’re talking about.

And what’s the natural reaction that then follows?

What do management then do to solve this problem?

They take steps to then put more information out there. And 9 times out of 10 this results in more meetings and more emails, which then equals to more time wasted.

And has this approach ever been effective in improving communication, if that, in fact, was the problem?

Well, this is what my experience has taught me.

When I’ve worked in places where communication was identified as a major issue, as an employee there, what that meant for me was that I felt left out and was never really sure on what was happening. And at times, it was almost like I wasn’t even there. I felt like a very insignificant part of the organisation.

But what is also very important to note is that all those emails and meetings that happened in an attempt to improve communication, didn’t make a difference. Yeah, more information came our way but in our day-to-day jobs nothing changed. All those same feels of not knowing what was going on were still present. Nothing changed in that aspect.

So was communication really the problem?

Based on my experience, the times when communication was identified as a major problem was when micromanagement ruled like there was no tomorrow.

When you were given the responsibility to do something, but really had no control over it. When you were given something to do and only knew about 10% of the reason behind it. That was when I experienced confusion myself and witnessed it with the people around me. That’s when people will carry out an action and when asked “Why?” will just say, “It’s what my manager wants me to do.” It may already sound familiar to you.

The only time when communication wasn’t a problem in anyway, was when micromanagement didn’t exist.

Everyone was made accountable for the tasks given to them and were fully responsible for them. They knew every reason behind what they were doing because they were in charge of it. They created it. They made the decisions. Because they didn’t know every reason behind what the person next to them was doing didn’t matter. As long as there was no confusion on what you needed to do, you didn’t need to know everything everyone else was working on.

Blog #21 Tip – Don’t ever feel as though to be good at your job you need to know everything your company is working on. The only thing you need to be 100% certain of is the job that you need to do.

And I mean 100%. Not 70% or 80%, but 100%. And I know that you may think, well of course, how else can you do your job? Trust me, out of the 9 jobs I’ve had, there is only one place where I’ve worked where I’ve known 100% what I needed to do and witnessed it around me with others. In almost all other places that I’ve worked a very common answer to the question “Why are you doing this?” was “Because my manager told me to.” In other words, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”

100% clarity on what you need to do is a good sign that you’re in a good job.

What did you think of blog post #21? Have you come across this problem yet? Have you had moments of feeling lost when you weren’t clear on what you needed to do? Share your experience on my blog in the comments section at the bottom of this blog post. I’d love to hear about it and others would to.

If you have any friends or colleagues that would benefit from this blog post – please share it!

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See you next week.


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4 thoughts on “Why communication is the most common problem. What this says about your workplace (Blog #21)”

  1. Couldn’t agree with you more! I must add, though, that companies should make efforts at increasing transparency through the effective communication. This can help employees feel less insecure about being left out of what’s going on. Yes, it’s vital to have 100% clarity on what you need to do, but one needs to understand how these tasks fit into the bigger picture. Don’t you agree?

    1. Definitely Rachel. The big picture is very important. But what I’ve found is that when you have 100% clarity on what you need to do the big picture also becomes very clear.

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