The art of Communication

I recently had a septoplasty, terminate reduction, and sinus surgery all at once. Basically, I had a lot of work done in my nasal passages. As part of the recovery process, I had to wear splints inside my nose and there were a few stitches. 5 days after the surgery, my husband and I went to the doctor’s office to have my splints removed - and apparently also to have the worse doctor’s experience of my life.

We didn’t see my normal ear, nose, throat doctor who also performed my surgery because he didn’t work that day. I saw another doctor who worked in the office with the worse bedside manner you could imagine. There I am, sitting in the office chair with these 3-inch long slugs plugging my nose, forcing me to breathe out of my mouth and causing extreme discomfort. My nose was also very swollen on the inside since the surgery was just days before and the healing was just beginning. Mr. I-don’t-need-to-tell-you-what’s-happening walks in and immediately sticks some surgically sharp scissors up my nose and starts to dig into my swelling skin to cut out my stitch holding the splints in place. I don’t think he even told us his name first.

Satisfied that he had caused me great pain, he switched the scissors out for a pair of pliers. In one foul swoop, he hands me a metal tray to hold beneath my chin, reaches into my nose with the pliers, and rips out the splits, one at a time. Confused, experiencing great soreness, bleeding profusely from my nose, and sobbing, I repeatedly point to the tissue box until the doctor gets the hint to hand me some. Trying to pull myself together, the doctor leaves and his nurse comes in. She sprays some stuff into my nose that’s supposed to numb the inside but mostly just tastes terrible in the back of my throat, then walks out. A minute later, the doctor walks back in, grabs the tiniest vacuum I’ve ever seen in my life, and starts sucking away at the inside of my nose, making sure to press hard against my swollen nasal membranes. You can imagine the discomfort.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Change and communication. If the doctor had walked in, explained what he was going to do so I was mentally prepared, then went about torturing me, there probably wouldn’t be this blog written about my worst doctor’s visit ever. The same thing holds true when executives communicate to their company about new changes coming down the pipeline.

A lot of people don’t like change. For the most part, people are comfortable doing what they’re doing now, even if it doesn’t make them particularly happy or it’s not as efficient as it could be. Introduce change, and they’re stepping outside of their comfort zone. And they don’t like it - especially when they don’t understand the background of the change. As long as you communicate what the change is, exactly what it entails and effects, and (most importantly), why it’s happening, your team will get on board. Your employees want the company to succeed. They want to know that the leaders are thinking of what’s best for the company and therefore them. And they want to help out in any way they can. IF they know how.

Communicating (over-communicating, actually) is the most effective way to get your team aligned with your vision and moving in the right direction, without hesitation.  They may even have some great ideas to help the company reach its goals that you wouldn’t have thought of.