07 May The Power of Communication
It is said that “a good relationship starts with good communication.” Make no mistake: every engagement with another in our lives can fall into the category of “relationship”. We relate to people all the time — our kids, our spouse or partner, our parents, our co-workers…and our clients. Communication, to be successful, requires two things equally: Conveying and Listening.
It never ceases to amaze me how many reasonable, mature adults are walking around under the illusion that they are good communicators! But why? Why do so many of us think this about ourselves, without measure of whether it’s really true? I’d say, because we have “relationships”. We have other people in our lives who are near us, seek us out and/or generally actively desire an interaction with us of some kind.
Much of communication is osmosis. We aren’t always actually listening “actively”, i.e. responding to the other person, asking questions, seeking details on the subject being discussed, but we pick up things that seep into our brains and memories as if were had been “in the moment”….so I guess this is really about being “in the moment”…
In the built environment, communication is the most important element in a successful project. All parties — developer, architect, designer, contractors, homeowner, and so on — must be bringing their concerns to the table and letting them be known.
#1 Rule: Don’t look for fault, look for solutions. #2 Rule: Everyone contributes. I think a lot of times we think that we do is somehow different than our personal lives and that we should conduct ourselves differently. Well, we should, in many ways, but the art of communicating remains the same no matter who is sitting across the table.
If you are working on a project right now, whether it be residential or commercial, industrial or otherwise — and things are not going smoothly, the most important thing to do is start communicating. Assuming everyone has the same goal — a successful project and a satisfied client — then make it your job to open the door and then listen.