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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Staff meetings? We don't need no stinking staff meetings...

How often to you talk with your folks?


How often do you meet with your team?


How well does your office interact?


I guess you can tell I'm kind of hitting the "communication" topic a little hard today...ok, pretty hard.

That's because communication, whether good or poor, is the life-blood of an organization. To illustrate my point, let's take a look at a living organism. Let's take a cat (or a tiger or cougar if you need something more fierce). The cat has eyes that it can use to determine where it needs to go, where it's food is, who it likes or not. The cat has teeth to help bring nourishment into it's body or to protect itself from enemies. It has legs and paws and claws to help it run toward or away from people or things -- friends or threats. And it has a brain that does all the thinking that a cat does.

So how does a cat get the results of it's limited thinking -- whether to eat or fight or run or look around from it's brain to all the parts doing those activities? Why, it's the nervous system -- all the neurons and synapses and such. How well the nervous system operates can have great bearing on whether that cat lives or dies.

It's the same for us in business, in relationships, in life -- COMMUNICATION is like the nervous system in that cat. How well it works often has great impact on whether our relationships, our families, our businesses LIVE OR DIE.

You can tell that I am definitely biased. I believe you've got to meet with your team. I mean, how can your people know the priorities, understand what's important to you, and operate efficiently and effectively unless people are talking to each other?

It is said that most leaders think they communicate enough, yet in reality, we don't come close to spending enough time talking with our people.

A few excuses for not having regular staff meetings:

"We're too busy."
"I send them emails all the time."
"I don't call meetings just to have meetings."
"The team already knows what's important."
"They know what I'm thinking" (yikes!).

Think about how well you and your team communicate and look for ways to improve.

I'll go into some detail about holding effective meetings in the next post.

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