Knowing yourself & your company culture is absolutely important for effective communication & optimum performance

All working professionals understand that the culture of the organization determines solely how we communicate internally as well as externally. A start-up, with centralized decision-making, will have a different style of communication within the company, compared to a large corporation, where communication channels are open and multi-directional. Here the long-term vision of the organization plays a very important role in identifying methods of communication! 

In addition, knowing oneself (the core ), will help navigate the challenges, should the culture of the organization be otherwise.

The following TWO  areas are critical for effective communication in any organization:

Knowing Self 

I was listening to the podcast of Mrs. Manjari Jaruhar, the first women IPS from Bihar and among the first 5 women police officers in India where  she mentioned that there are 2 types of women workforce in the Police : 

  • Women who will not share anything even though they are going through extreme emotional, personal battles – they endure it silently
  • Women who will complain (with tears in their eyes ) about trivial things, like how somebody has behaved with her at work

Both are extremes and my experience is this is equally applicable for men as well in the corporate space(may not be with tears in the eyes though)! 

Knowing oneself in the context of the organization is very important. Based on this, you will have to adapt and communicate. For example, if your nature is to endure, you will NOT be able to share your “tough” conversations/situations with anybody, resulting in you  “bottling up” and then trying to identify internal coping mechanisms. This may create mental & emotional imbalance which ultimately will hamper your overall performance. 

In such a situation, you have to adapt by reaching out to somebody with whom you can share and receive feedback  (even though it is against your basic “grain”).

On the other hand, if you are someone who cannot have petty matters resolved, you may be perceived as someone who is too immature to take bigger responsibility since you buckle down in simple situations.

It is advisable to stay calm, handle the situation professionally, and later get constructive feedback from your manager.

Knowing the long-term vision, and culture of the organization

When your organization has the vision to play the “long game”. or has been in the business for a long, its approach with employees will be more inclusive in nature, with multi-directional communication channels. This means that you can collaborate, share ideas, and have open conversations. This empowers you, you are HEARD and you FEEL  you are contributing to the company, resulting in optimum performance.

An example of Company culture – many organizations now have glass-walled rooms for managers (instead of the old wooden chambers ) and round tables instead of rectangle tables. This may reflect the company’s open culture policy ( you can see this transparently across the glass walls). A round table signifies that it is a collaborative culture, rather than command-driven (as signified in a rectangle-shaped table ). Similarly, Town Halls, or 360-degree feedback, are tools that companies use to encourage open communication & culture.

Your communication will be so different in an organization with top-down decision-making. You mostly execute instructions and do not feel part of the company, only doing your job for the pay cheque. You perform much lesser than your best and look for an opportune moment to move out!

To conclude, knowing yourself is extremely important to understand how you can fit into the organization’s culture(which means understanding the dynamics of the organization), resulting in effective communication, high morale, and super performance! 

Whereas organizations are opting for differentiated methods to have an open communication culture, it still remains to be understood how leaders are able to accept this huge mind shift, which questions their authority.

Let me know your comments!