I’m continuing my series on an in-depth look at a wonderful little book that’s twenty years old this year. The title is “Management of the Absurd” by Richard Farson. You may want to consider dropping back and reading the previous blogs about ABSURD! I think it will put each new one in great context.
“The notion that people need to communicate more is perhaps the most widely accepted idea in management, indeed in all human relationships. Whether it’s called counseling, team building, conflict resolution, or negotiating, it boils down to one idea – that if we talk it over, things will get better.”
I just finished another Culture Survey’s with a client. (Actually I dealt with three client surveys over the last six weeks.) There are a couple of items that always get low scores on every company’s survey and one of them is the need for more communication.
Unfortunately, most corporate leaders respond to the noted lack of communication with more information. Seldom do people want more information. Every organization and person I know, including myself is overrun with information. We carry around the knowledge (and information) of man in our hand in a device we ludicrously call a phone when it uses about 0.001% of its capability to provide phone service. What we don’t carry around with us is the wisdom of man.
People don’t want more information; they want more meaning. What does this mean? How should we interpret these numbers? Give us meaning. Tell us stories. Help us understand.
Our author says:
“Almost all of this information is quantitative rather than qualitative and is of little use to top managers, who are dealing with predicaments that seldom yield to logical analysis. What these executives require is more likely to come from the advice of their colleagues than from comprehensive displays of data.”
Simon Sinek notes that great leaders inspire action by starting with Why! If you haven’t seen his video check out YouTube for “Why, How, What” or Simon Sinek below. Why starts with meaning. People are seldom interested in what you do but they are often interested in why you’re doing it.
The more we communicate, the less we communicate. The more with inspire with meaning and helping people understand why, the more we communicate.