Effective Communication vs. "It is What It is"

How often have you thought "Oh well, it is what it is"?

At one time or another we have all thought, "it is what it is." Some of those times, it was probably the reality of the situation, and it was best to accept it and move on. However, too many times we don't challenge what could be a "defeatist" attitude, and in those cases, everybody involved loses. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about. Mary is having difficulty with one of her employees about implementing new changes. Mary explains the changes and asks if the employee understands. The employee answers yes. Yet, the employee never makes the changes. After several times that the employee doesn't follow through as instructed, Mary's frustration gets the best of her and she thinks, "It is what it is." She then assigns the task to a different employee and reassigns the other employee to a less challenging task. In this example, nobody wins. Mary is not getting what she needs from her employee, the employee is not learning how to implement change, and Mary has not discovered what the "real" problem is. What's missing in this scenario is Mary's accepting "it is what it is" rather than questioning her style of managing and communicating. So, before Mary throws in the towel, she needs to ask herself some critical questions:

  1. How much do I know about this employee?

  2. Have I taken the time to get to know her?

  3. Have I shared anything about myself or approached her in ways that would make her feel comfortable enough to speak with me and ask for help if needed?

  4. Is my communication style non-threatening?

  5. Is my tone of voice and body language encourage someone to be open and honest with me?

The right questions asked in a non-threatening way are always good for opening the door to effective communication. Simply taking the attitude that "it is what it is" without first examining your own communication skills impedes your ability to empower others and to create an environment that encourages positive change and leads to good solutions.

Remember communication skills are important in all relationships, business and personal.

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