I’m preparing to teach COM-211 (Business & Professional Communication) at Cornerstone University. Right now I’m collecting stories from organizations where communication 1) went really well and it as a win or 2) things went really poorly and almost burned the place down. As you can imagine, there are more horror stories than there are success stories, which goes to show just how under-appreciated effective communication truly is! It’s like the engine in my car: I don’t really think about it until something goes wrong, yet, like organizational communication, it requires regular maintenance and intentional care.
Communication theorists Watzlawick, Beavin, and Jackson wrote an often-quoted (and really clunky) phrase: “One cannot not communicate.”
I’m excited to spend five weeks with a cohort of working adults as we help each other with the ever present and ever relevant topic of organizational communication. If you have any success (or horror) stories of miscommunication in the workplace that will help the class, please change some names to protect the innocent and share.