Not Communicating Is Not Communicating

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • December 22, 2016
Paul Newman

Have you ever said something like, “I wish they had just told me what was wrong. If I had known I could have fixed it.”? I think we have all said that or something similar at one time or another. So what went wrong? Well, as the captain in the movie ‘Cool Hand Luke’ said, ‘What we got here is … a failure to communicate.’ No kidding. I hate getting calls first thing in the morning from a client who says, “How could you let this happen?” (At this point I am still unclear what ‘this’ is.) Why does this happen? Because someone neglected to communicate that there was problem and now we, as a commercial cleaning company, look incompetent. I’ll bet you have had similar experiences. Here are some lessons I’ve learned and maybe we can all use.

Ignoring the communication process has consequences

What causes us to be so negligent about our communication with others? Fear of reprisal? Embarrassment? The feeling that others will see us as incompetent? I would answer yes to all of the above. But consider this, when you don’t communicate you look deceptive, like you have something to hide and you lose trust from everyone involved. The lack of communication will also cost you time and often a lost opportunity to fix the problem in a manner that is a win-win for everyone.

We all make mistakes. Get over it. Running from the mistake and pretending you didn’t know about it will not solve anything. Communicate with others as early as possible and often times we can solve problems together and you garner respect in the long run. A standard line around our office is, “I can’t fix what I don’t know about.”

Nonverbal communication might work at home but not in business

When I was a kid my actions would often get me a ‘look’ from my parents, aunts, uncles or other adults. You know the one I’m talking about. Its the one that says “if you continue doing what you are doing there will be hell to pay”. I tested that theory on numerous occasions and regretfully I paid the consequences.

In business the ‘look’ doesn’t exist. If you want to communicate something it requires verbal, or sometimes written, statements and the clearer the statements the more likely we are to achieve our desired results. Too often the ‘look’ is assumed, that is we assume others know what needs to be done. Well we all know what that makes of you and me… right? Being clear about the situation, the changes and the expectations will help us get the intended results.

Communication without action is meaningless

Unless we are just telling stories around the cooler, all communication has an end result in mind. Either I want you to do something new or I am giving you information that will allow you to alter your actions or I am informing you of actions I am going to take. In any case, action (a response) of some kind is required. Passive-aggressive affirmation solves nothing. Take some action. Do something. Solve a problem, return a call, make the necessary changes or ask for clarification.

Here is the bottom line. If we communicate poorly (either side, assuming we aren’t talking to ourselves) we create unnecessary stress, loss of valuable time and ultimately poor performance. On the other hand quality communication will improve our reputation, reduce stress, save time and maybe even improve the bottom line.

If you are having trouble communicating with your current janitorial company give us a calland experience the difference.