A "Far Side" cartoon illustrates a point about communication.
One of my favorite "Far Side" cartoons shows Ginger the dog getting yelled at by her master. All Ginger hears is, "Blah blah Ginger, blah blah Ginger!"
We all talk to our pets, even though they have no idea what we're saying beyond programmed sounds — "stick," "outside," "ball," "treat," and hopefully, "no."
But in our rush to communicate with people, are you always clear, and absolutely certain that they're listening and getting the message?
When you give instructions to your crew, are you absolutely certain they're listening to you? In their defense, have you chosen the right time to give specific instructions (that is, in an official crew meeting, not when they're focusing on getting on the road)? Do they flat out know what you're talkng about as far as some detail related to a service call or installation? Have they been filled in on a particular policy in advance of getting chewed out for not following it? And, when they answer back, are you listening to their explanations or concerns, or are you too focused on what you want to say next?
And most of all, when customers call with a complaint or concern, do you focus like a laser on their every word before you give an explanation or assure them of a solution?
If you have some communication tips you want to pass along to other contractors, LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU GOT A MINUTE.
And please follow me on Twitter, @TerryMcIver
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