Communication: Why we need to talk about it

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We often hear the importance of communication and how imperative it is to communicate to our families, friends, colleagues, clients/customers and team leaders. The question is, Why is it so important to communicate and why do people still fall into the trap of not informing others of what’s going on.

Here’s a typical example:

A client hears of a new hair salon that has recently opened and eager to try them out. She calls in and books her appointment with a hairdresser at 09h00. On the day, the client arrives and informs the receptionist she is here and to notify the stylist, she tells the client to take a seat and the hair dresser will be with her shortly.

The client sits and waits till eventually its 09h30. No one has come to inform her of what’s going on or where the hair dresser is. The client tries to find out what the delay is and gets notified that the hairdresser is stuck in traffic but she’s on her way. The client starts getting agitated but tries not to get upset. She goes outside to get some air, reads a magazine and waits. It’s now 09h50 and the hairdresser is still not there.

The client eventually becomes furious and demands to know what’s going on and where the hairdresser is. She feels disrespected by the lack of communication from both the receptionist and the hairdresser. Eventually she complains to the manager and she gets allocated to another hairstylist. However this leaves a sour taste to the client and she vows not to return back and to inform her friends not to go there.

What do you think went wrong here? In any business no matter how big or small, soft skills are more vital than ever. We often spend so much time focusing on the technical skills of our job description that we forget we are dealing with humans who have emotions and with this it becomes our responsibility as to how we manage these emotions and expectations from the client.

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