Building Communication Bridges- How often have you heard someone say that’ he never listens to me’? I am sure that most people, at some time or other, feel that we are not listened to, whether by a partner or in a business situation.
For any productive communication to take place, there must be a solid communication bridge, where both sides can talk and listen.
Businesses can benefit from building communication bridges because productive conversation means more efficient work.
People need to be heard and similarly need to receive answers to their questions. For any business to run well, communication is vital between managers and staff. Once employees know that they will be listened to and respected for their thoughts, they will be more inclined to deliver work which is above average.
It is, unfortunately, true that at school we are taught many things to help us in life, but communication is not one of them. Understandable then that we should have very little idea of how to go about building a communication bridge.
So, what is the Communication Bridge?
Like any physical bridge which spans a river or a gulf, a communications bridge does the same. It is the catalyst between two parties or groups. It is, simply put, the way we give and take, or talk and answer. If no bridge exists between two parties, then there is no (or little) communication between them.
Should the bridge be damaged, only a certain amount of movement can take place. When the communications bridge is damaged, we find that half of the conversations are not delivered or understood, and replies are not complete.
Not everyone in life automatically gets on with other people, and there will be some people who simply do not like each other. By building a good communications bridge, it is still possible for arch enemies to communicate in a civil way, discuss a problem, work out a solution which is acceptable to both sides, and then move on.
Who benefits from the Communication bridge?
In personal life, both partners will benefit from the bridge. They will be able to discuss problems and concerns, address them and work out solutions.
In a business, everyone benefits from the communications bridge. Managers will feel that they can approach an employee to discuss an issue, without appearing threatening or patronising.
Employees will feel that they can bring concerns to the manager’s table, knowing they will be treated with respect, taken seriously, and helped to work out a solution.
Team leaders who build a good communication bridge will find that the workplace is drawn together is mutual respect, and problems can be addressed in a civilised manner.
The main reasons for Building Communications Bridge
Productive communication is probably the main reason for building a communication bridge. Every person wants to not only talk but be heard and receive a response. Communication is the way we create healthy and happy relationships with other people. It is the way businesses work. Without good communication between a business and their clients, there simply would not be a successful business.
One of the main challenges of good communication is to think that all people feel the same as we do. This is never true. While some people may agree with you, on the whole, all people differ in their thinking. Only when we have found a communications bridge which allows both people to meet in the middle, will a business run well.
How to start building the Communications Bridge
There are four main steps to building your communications bridge, namely:
- Know your audience: managers should consider breaking a group into smaller sections of like-minded employees. Identifying demographics will help just the same way that you would in a personal situation.
- The right message for the right audience: the bridge you build for one type of person will differ from how you manage another. One group of employees will appreciate a style while a second group may be frustrated.
- Build a two-way bridge: staff must feel that they can respond without being placed in a threatening situation. Staff need to know that their opinions are respected and valued, otherwise, they will not respond well.
- Use bridge building tools: you will find several online sites that cover bridge building. We would advise managers to choose the HRDQ Communication Bridge building.
Once a business has built a successful communications bridge, employees will become more productive, and a solid relationship will ensue.