Effective communication is where something is communicated clearly, the recipient understands it and the desired outcome occurs. If any of these pieces don’t occur, it can’t be effective communication. When it comes to the communicating clearly and understanding portions of effective communication, there can be many hurdles, one of them being language.
During our most recent Supervisor call we discussed language as it relates to the words we use and the tone in which we speak to our employees. Our conclusion was that any tone or words used towards someone that causes them to ignore you or become defensive is deemed as ineffective communication.
These are the questions we asked and the responses that came from that call:
What kinds of responses are produced in a recipient of profanity?
• Makes the employee feel bad/unvalued.
• Poor work quality.
• Produces a “fight or flight” response in the employee, which is essentially the desire to retaliate or run. In either case, the employee is deaf to whatever is being said when yelling and profanity are being used.
• If yelling and profanity are tuned out, then why would we use these methods of communication?
What’s the problem with the use of profanity becoming the go-to means of influencing results?
• It gets ignored. Similar to someone always labeling their emails as “High Priority,” yelling and profanity can be ignored, hindering effective communication.
What kind of people do we become when we consistently use profanity to influence results?
• We become jerks.
• Our language and motivation styles influence our personal lives with our spouses, children, friends, etc. We certainly would not want a habit that was developed while supervising herbicide work to have that kind of negative impact on your life.
• No one has ever asked our leaders to be harsh with employees and we never will.
Here at Edko, we don’t want to have a culture of yelling and profanity just because that’s how things work in our industry. We also don’t want to lean on the excuses of, “it’s the only thing that works on our employees,” or “it works in the military.” The fact is that a negative work environment produces turnover, fighting and poor work quality.
We want Edko to be a place that people want to work and not a place they have to work. We’re not saying we want Edko to be a daisy farm, but is it too much to ask for us to strive to be better people and in turn a better company? We don’t think it is.