Recently a colleague of mine referred to staff training and development and communication skills training as being ‘fluffy’. This got me thinking, isn’t it funny the approach that is taken to learning about improving communication and behaviour in society? At school we learn all sorts of subjects. In history class we learn about all the war and destruction the world has seen but not about how ineffective communication has lead to much of this destruction. We study language, our own mother tongue, and if we are lucky, the languages of other countries. We are not, however taught how to communicate effectively, in our own or other languages, with our friends, family, and people in general. Some of us learn about business organisation at school, but how much of the syllabus talks about how important an understanding of each other’s needs is in making organisations work effectively? And even my colleague, who is an extremely successful management consultant, working with leaders and managers on a daily basis, calls staff training and development and communication skills training ‘fluffy’.
Fluffy is a term used to describe cotton wool, teddy bears, bunny rabbits and woolly sweaters and in an online dictionary I just looked up as ‘sentimental or over-romantic; not very intelligent’. To taking a positive swirl on this, when people refer to staff training and development and communication skills training as fluffy they perhaps see effective communication as an impossible dream. We are perhaps looking to do something that is idealized, because in a results-based society the impact of training is often difficult to measure. Many decision makers can’t align results with training, yet all success depends on the growth and communication of individuals.
I cannot tell you how many times recently, coming up to Christmas I walked into stores to buy gifts for family and friends, just as quickly to turn around and walk out to go to one of their competitors. Why did I turn around and walk out? Well a whole range of things. Absolutely nothing to do with what was on the shelves or how glitzy and eye-grabbing the branding was. My exit was solely related to the people on the floor, the lack of interest, enthusiasm or willingness to help. On one day there are five particular stores that I would have spent money in. But my money was spent in other stores where I received the interest, enthusiasm or willingness that I expected or at least a glimpse of what I expected to be honest!
I am only one person; How many other people out there did the same as me coming up to Christmas? How many of those businesses I walked out of might in the coming year go into liquidation or similar because their staff on the cold face with customers do not know how to make the best of their personalities, to make the shopping experience an enjoyable one. How many of those customer will leave knowing that next time they need to buy a similar product they will be returning to this store to see the same smiling face or a similar smiling face to greet them an assist them with their purchase?
If we are not taught how to communicate effectively or how to recognize the impact of our behaviours in school, or by our parents, or by our peers or through the media, and we can’t lick it off the ground, then where are we supposed to learn it?
Communication and behavior change is simple really, yes maybe it is ‘fluffy’, but it is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing to get right if a business wants to be successful in the long-term. Any business I have interacted with and that I have been impressed by continually spend on effective staff training and development and communication skills training, and it is generally clearly obvious to me, based on the interactions I have with those organisations, those who do and those who don’t. But then maybe I expect to much?!
If you haven’t already, check out some testimonials given by our clients… You can hear from others just how fluffy adaptas™ can be.Back to Teams