Communication Breakdown!




By Bill Leutzinger, President, TelecomMedic

I heard this famous Led Zeppelin song recently and it made me think about what is going on in our business and in our society in general. Lately it seems to me that everyone has forgotten how to communicate. I think this just might be one more thing we can blame on the economy right now.

It sure seems that almost everyone is scared of losing their jobs these days, customers are scared of making the wrong decision, and people are leery of long-term contracts. However, all this really does is make things more difficult in the “real world.”

If you don’t know me already, you will find that I am someone who hits people right between the eyes with the truth. I have been told in the past that I need to filter it a little. But, lately I say, “The hell with that, let’s all just remove our damn filters.”

If we say we are going to do something by a certain time or date, let’s get it done by that time/date. Whatever happened to under-committing and over-performing? I have been noticing a trend in almost every aspect of our daily lives that people will just tell you what they think you want to hear – the hell with the truth. All this accomplishes is very short-term highs followed by massive lows and disappointments. This is a trend we all need to break out of, or help people break out of by calling them out.

  • Vendors, when you commit to delivering a quote of information, don’t commit to the date I want, commit to the date you can actually get me that information.
  • Agents, quit making promises to vendors you can’t control, and certainly don’t make promises to customers you can’t back up.
  • Customers, if you need help internally don’t be afraid to ask for it, and show your value by standing out and making changes that are good for the company.

Why does it have to be so difficult? I think we should make the next week, National Be Honest and Follow Up On Your Commitments Week. I would like to have everyone make a special effort each day this week to be brutally honest with someone every day. Think of it as a kind of “Pay It Forward” thing. Throw caution to the wind and remove your filter. I think you will like it and in the end I am confident almost everyone around you will appreciate it.

To make this whole thing entertaining – come back to the blog and post a comment regarding your “Pay It Forward” moments – I am sure everyone will like to hear other people’s stories.

Until next time …

Bill Leutzinger is president of Chicago-based TelecomMedic, an agency providing voice, data and video services to business customers. He is a member of the 2008-09 PHONE+ Channel Partners Advisory Board.

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