What Happens When No One Communicates?

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” — Tony Robbins

Recently my son and his fiancé bought a new home. Several of us were pitching in to help them move. What should have been a simple task, especially since they had not acquired much at this point, turned into a chaotic, time consuming ordeal. Why? Simple, no one was communicating with anyone else. Everyone assumed that we were all on the same page and knew the plan. It turned out that there were six different pages and six different plans. My son and his fiancé weren’t even on the same page. If lack of communication can disrupt a simple, short-term task, what happens in your organization when no one communicates?

Differing priorities

As Tony Robbins points out in the above quote, we each perceive the world differently. Our perceptions help us to identify our priorities. When no one communicates, we all start making the assumption that we see the situation from the same perspective and therefore have the same priorities. Big mistake; without clear communication everyone becomes focused on what they determine are the priorities. When everyone has differing priorities it becomes difficult to get tasks completed in a timely manner.

Working against each other

An unintentional byproduct of differing priorities and lack of communication is that everyone seems to be working against each other. While each is focused on what is most important based on their view of the world, it is often to the detriment of others trying to accomplish their own priorities. Instead of working together, lack of communication breeds an “every man for himself” attitude.

Finger pointing

Once an atmosphere of “every man for himself” is created the finger pointing starts. Everyone thinks they are the ones following the plan. If things aren’t going according to the plan, it’s someone else’s fault. Just as in my son’s moving fiasco, the problem is there is NO shared plan, just a bunch of separate plans all interfering with each other.

Get on the Same Page: Communicate

The problems created by lack of communication compound over time. They start to wreak havoc in your operations and cause confusion and frustration. Yet, these problems are so easy to fix. Start communicating. Make sure everyone knows the plan and shares the same priorities. When you communicate and everyone is on the same page, simple tasks remain simple tasks, and long-term goals stay on-track.

What will you do today to improve communication in your organization?


© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli


Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.