Message Content or Message Delivery ?

I am reading more on Team Building lately and have found some provocative questions and key research on the elements of Communication that REALLY MATTER.
The Harvard Business Review has compiled a grouping of their top articles over recent years in a number of skill-building “booklets” titled simply, like “Leadership,” Managing your Supervisor,” “Team Building,” and “HR Hiring Practices.”

My “Team Building” compilation challenged me with research that shows, in fact, that the method of communicating and the patterns which groups use to communicate are usually and by far, more influential in how the team responds and performs than the messages themselves.   Lo and behold, they even have statistical research to prove that productivity and financial gain can be increased *a lot* when positive patterns of communication and positively shared messages are predominant.

I am eager to read more.

Often I have heard that “people leave a job more for the people they work with rather than the job they are doing.”  Certainly the research has informed us that we as Volunteer Managers, as Leaders and as HUMANS need to “mind our P’s and Q’s” as we communicate both good and bad news to our peers, supervisors, followers and constituents.

There is something to be said for those who think before they speak.  It is my strategy and goal (as we students of AEE 533 prepare to prepare volunteers for service) to work hard to craft both a salient and digestible message as well as respectful and understandable ways to send the messages crafted.  I need to keep the audience in mind, maintain an understanding of the needs and mission of the agency, and respect the individuality and integrity of the volunteers on the same team as me.  I need to model the way and inspire a shared vision (Kouses and Posner) among our team as we move forward to accomplish our goals.

So to the blog title… I say YES!  – BOTH!   Here’s cheers for the process.

2 responses to “Message Content or Message Delivery ?

  1. As you mentioned a good volunteer manager should mind his/her P’s and Q’s and think before they speak. I certainly think great leaders have the ability to listen more than talk. Someone who truly listens to others rather than voicing their opinions can find out what volunteers are seeking and how to develop a reward system that motivates and retains them. Leaders that listen model integrity and can promote shared visions of all team members, volunteers, staff and clients. Sounds like you are trying to incorporate these strategies with the “messages” you want to convey in your volunteer experiences.

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