How to Annihilate Barriers to Communication

What's the worst crime that kills a business?


"Please make your way to the brown coffin."

Exhibit: Business built-up for 6 years. Founders and employees used blood and sweat to keep it afloat. Stayed up a thousand nights in a row to debug their million-dollar-venture-backed web application. Dead on arrival. Cause of death: diva-like-drama. It's sad; but if you've ever been around dot-com folks, it happens more than it needs to happen. (Example B.) Politics. Sucks. Arse. When it comes down to it:

Politics results from a lack of communication.

To avoid this, psychology legend and expert Carl R. Rogers tells us to stop being our biggest cheerleader (which we all always seem to be, subconsciously):

We can achieve real communication and avoid this evaluative tendency when we listen with understanding. This means seeing the expressed idea and attitude from the other person's point of view, sensing how it feels to the person, achieving his or her frame of reference about the subject being discussed.

"This may sound absurdly simple, but it is not."

In fact, it is an extremely potent approach in psychotherapy. It is the most effective way we've found to alter a person's basic personality structure and to improve the person's relationships and communications with others. If I can listen to what a person can tell me and really understand how she hates her father or hates the company or hates conservatives, or if I can catch the essence of her fear of insanity or fear of nuclear bombs, I will be better able to help her alter those hatreds and fears and establish realistic and harmonious relationships with the people and situations that roused such emotions. We know from research that such empathic understanding - understanding with a person, not about her - is so effective that it can bring about significant changes in personality.

"So you want me to be Mr/Ms "B!tch"?

Switching your perspective to your "worst enemy" is probably the last thing you'd want to do. But, and we come from experience, that's better than watching your business tumble to the ground. Word.

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Posted on July 07

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