Over the summer break, I read Bernie Shakeshaft’s Back on Track and Severed Dreams Reconstructing Your Purpose, by Chad Porter. Both books impressed upon me the importance of finding, knowing and living your purpose in life, including your interactions in business.

The most impressive aspect about Porter’s story was how a 14-year-old budding junior sports star, who became an amputee, went on to discover his gift of inspiring others to find the strength to preserve and fulfil their purpose.

Driving back to work in January, I was listening to the radio and the presenters were interviewing a professor who said the cause of many issues in the workplace is due to a communication breakdown.

Communication breakdown within the business environment is a major problem, and it prompted me to reflect on the following:

  • As a business owner and family man with two kids, I spend on average 70 per cent of my waking hours communicating, making effective communication all the more critical
  • The most common cause of issues within business is, more often than not, due to poor, improper communication or, as I like to call it, not achieving ‘meeting of the minds’ at the start of the conversation
  • The associated costs from poor communication both in dollar terms and lost productivity is significant – 70 per cent of 16 hours is 11 hours 12 minutes. Imagine wasting all that time on a daily basis?Is communication training being provided fit for purpose?
  • The concept of purposeful conversations in business is simple. It’s about ensuring the purpose for each conversation is clearly articulated and understood. 

Being honest, respectful and professional is also a key factor. By this, it means that it is important to address the key points of the conversation with courage and conviction. Afterall, we are duty bound to be genuine and honest when communicating all news (both good and bad).

In today’s fast paced world of the internet filled with apps and electronic gadgets, criticisms are easily and readily posted/published/shared/commented on.

People tend to have greater courage and convictions when they don’t have to eyeball the other person. I believe honest, face-to-face interaction is a non-negotiable in order to have purposeful conversations and in reducing communication breakdowns in business.