In the field of advertising, we define “communications” as “the discipline that studies the principles of transmitting information and the methods by which it is delivered (such as print, radio, television, etc).” I would also venture to guess that most people also apply this definition when it’s used to describe someone’s career choice or advanced degree. (Hopefully this is the case, and my friends don’t think my job is comprised of hanging out and chatting with people all day.) But, regardless of people’s perception, communication is, in its simplest form, the transferring of information from one source to another.
As simple as it may sound, communicating can be a tough job, no matter what field of work you’re in. In almost every type of business, there are multiple personality types and right-brained people trying to communicate with left-brained people. Take for example, an integrated marketing firm like Kidd Group. Within one company, we have web designers and programmers, Advertising Account Managers, a Media Planning/Buying division, Public Relations peeps, graphic designers, Accounting, New Business, Social Media and IT, and all of them have to successfully communicate every day in order to get the job done. If you haven’t already guessed, we have a range of creativity levels, from the extremely right-brained, to the extremely left-brained, and everywhere in between – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. If everyone was left-brained, our desks would be impeccable, the office would be dead quiet, and our design would be… well, boring. And, if everyone was right-brained, our desks would be unusable, we’d never have meetings, and no one would ever get anything done. (Ok, I grossly stereotyped, but you get the picture.)
My point is, you need a balance of all these types of people to make any business successful, and each one communicates differently. Not sure you’re getting through to a certain co-worker? It may just be that you’re not communicating in same “language” that they are (think “Charlie Brown” when the adults are talking). Ultimately, the best way to find out what’s not working is to (you’ll never guess) – ask! Once everyone understands how the “other side” works, it’s just a matter of time before you’ll all be working like a well-oiled machine.
Of course, there are always some minor miscommunications that must be dealt with. Like, designers, when I say I want the logo “bigger”, it means you have to use that ‘special formula’ to calculate the specs. And you, web guy – when I say I need a web banner that looks “fun”, you know what that means, right?
Some people never learn…