If they do not believe our communications are clear, trustworthy, and of value to them — we have little opportunity for communication to occur, no matter how loudly we announce something.
At work, we have a weekly “All Hands” phone call that everyone company wide is supposed to listen to. However, my department is not able to listen in to the live call, because it is scheduled during our highest volume of work with customers. So the call is recorded for us and we are supposed to call back in at a later time that won’t impact or normal work flow to listen to the call. And there are memos and emails and notices sent out to us from management and from our own team members to make us aware of different things that affect or jobs.
It is repeatedly evident which people on our team listen to the call and read the communications and which do not, because you’ll hear them ask a question that was answered in the “announcement” and someone else who read it then gives them a summary and says, “It was in the (call/email/etc). Check it for the details.”
The hope would be that after their missing the communications happens enough times, that they might see the value in listening to and reading these communications for themselves regularly. But it doesn’t always work that way.
So just because an announcement is made, it doesn’t mean that it is received. And even when it is received, if the message isnt clearly explained or if the recipient doesn’t seek to understand what is being communicated — the intended message is not always comprehended by the recipient in the manner that was intended by the sender. Effective communication has several points at which it can break down.
I am not the supervisor of our team at work, but as a leader and mediator by nature, I end up stepping in to help my teammates regularly when there are technology issues, personal issues, questions, concerns, etc. And the team members regularly come to me with these problems because I will take action — whether or is a technology issue that needs to be addressed by the infrastructure team, whether it is an issue with something another team member did, or whether it is a question or concern about something management has communicated — they know that I will look into the issue, reach out to the appropriate resources, and track and follow up on the issue until it had been remedied.
Because of this, I am usually the member of the team that is addressing “issues” directly with those who can “fix” the problem. Even though others might be loud within their own comfortable circle that listens to their gripes and complaints, they might never communicate the problem/complaint directly to the person they are complaining about who could actually make a change that would improve things.
And being in this position of always “seeking to move the team forward towards resolution of issues” rather than “leaving issues to either wither away or fester” can be challenging at times — especially when most people don’t want to hear about issues that might take effort on their part to resolve. Most people by nature are prideful and self defensive when it comes to any type of announcement calling for change on their part — so the messenger needs to either wear a flak jacket or learn to move like Keanu Reaves in The Matrix to avoid getting shot.
It’s wonderful when you encounter someone who is “reachable”, someone who is “teachable”, someone who will value input from others, receive what is being said without practicing a response even before the message is complete, consider what is being communicated, comprehend and seek seek to remedy the situation. But that is not always the case. Resistance to what is being communicated is real, and there is not always unity of purpose, strong work ethic, a willingness to put aside self interests for the sake of the team, or comprehension in every instance where communication is attempted.
We can work on our skills to perfect or communications for sure:
But at the end of the day, the recipient must be willing to receive and comprehend, or we can’t help them. If they do not believe our communications are clear, trustworthy, and of value to them — we have little opportunity for communication to occur, no matter how loudly we announce something.
And we can see this is true of this Good News that we shout from the mountaintops as well:
For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t share the faith of those who listened to God.
Hebrews 4:2 NLT
Life Application Study Bible
The Israelites of Moses’ day illustrate a problem facing many who fill our churches today. They know a great deal about Christ, but they do not know him personally-they don’t combine their knowledge with faith. Let the Good News about Christ benefit your life. Believe in him and then act on what you know. Trust in Christ and do what he says.
Lord, help us to communicate clearly, in a message relevant to our listeners, in a timely fashion, with a truthful and trustworthy message, providing a solid foundation for our message, providing adequate detail to allow for a comprehensive understanding of our ideas, in a visual manner without conflicting or confusing the message, being caring and compassionate, and majoring ourselves available and open to feedback. And when we have done our best, help us to trust you to carry the right message, in the right time, to the right recipient, for the right purpose. Help us to share this most important message, your Good News, to the ends of the earth. Amen.