We just need more communication round here…
… as if communication were a thing, not a living activity
… as if communication were something that you wait for
… as if communication is an object that can be given to you by others
… as if communication were not something you participate in
We partly treat communication as if it were a thing because we’re in thrall to the idea of work as machine more than work as a living process. But we do it also because we know that really communicating with one another exposes us to risk – the risk that comes from connection with others, the risk that comes from revealing ourselves, the risk that comes from people disagreeing or saying ‘no’ to our ideas and hopes, the risk of disappointment, the risk of not feeling things are moving quickly enough, the risk of feeling ashamed.
Yes, invent processes, restructure meetings, install technology, reorganise your organisation. All of them can help. But don’t for a minute imagine that any of that will resolve your wish for better communication unless you’re also prepared to take the simple but radical step of listening and talking more, and learning to do so more and more skilfully.