A True Story: How Miscommunication Cost Us Millions

Belinda MJ Brown

Belinda MJ. Brown, CPC, ACC, EQi 2.0, CSCP

★ Executive Coach ★ Women Success Expert ★ Learning & Leadership Development ★ Corporate Alignment ★

A True Story: How Miscommunication Cost Us Millions

Aug 31, 2015

From the place of vulnerability, I share with you this recent experience that can easily be prevented by BE-ing mindful of our communication. My team and I trust you will expand your own awareness from this experience.

Communication is a basic “fact” of our human existence. Developing awareness around our communication style and how it affects others can cause a major impact in our lives, careers and organizations. 

One of our supplier had a simple technical glitch in their information system. While often “un-seen” it became a BIG DEAL for our organization as the glitch rippled into our organization and onto our clients. Let’s get something straight though. The “glitch” was not the issue, but the communication around this technical challenge was. Indeed, it was an easy fix as it took only a few minutes to resolve. We received a prompt update that said, “You should be all set, Belinda”. With my style, I read… “Done. Push your clients through, and move on to the next item on your list”. However, the system did not work and we lost an important contract with a client. Trying to decipher this disconnect in communication, I went back and re-read the email again from a different perspective. There it is, right there!! I KNEW better, I am trained… and yet, it still happen.

“You should be all set!” 

So what does this really mean?… The person in charge shared, “Fix it”. The tech guy “fixed it” and told the project manager, “Fixed”. The project manager told me, “Should be all set” Everyone assumed “it was fixed” and in reality, it was… BUT, it was not clearly communicated that it had to be “RESET” which required an additional step I was not aware of.

No one asked for clarification, me included. Why would I? I didn’t feel I needed to clarify any further to get the result we all wanted because the project manager told me, “You should be all set”. Had this fact been clarified… she most likely would have clarified to me: “You Are All Set” or “Let Me Check Again”

Those missed steps cost us a potential client and thousands and thousands of dollars.

Why am I sharing this story with you? Not to blame anyone nor to scare you off, it is only to bring awareness around communication and how much it affects our lives, our decisions, our communities and our organizations. 

It is more important than ever to:

1. LISTEN actively to what is said

2. CLARIFY, do NOT make any assumptions

3. NOTICE the choice of words : a “should”, a “can’t”, a “try” have a true meaning

4. LEARN the basics of energy styles to be aware of your communication style, and to help you identify communication gaps quickly, in order to prevent communication breakdowns.

Our organization propose to prepare you for alignment conversations in your personal life and work environment, so you will be positioned for stronger complex leadership roles.

What is your story about communication mishaps? Please connect with us and join us for our next Training or Certification Program in Orlando, FL. All classes are HRCI and ICF certified and you will receive respectively “up to 12 valuable CEU’s and/or up to 12 CCE’s”

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