Sunday, 20 January 2013

Discussion Forum #1 - Communications At The Workplace

I am starting a new trend.

Before I explain further I would like to thank you all, dear readers, for reading my (sometimes really long) posts since I began blogging in March 2012. In a world somewhat obsessed with entertainment news, technological advances and politics, it is refreshing to see that that such a "serious" business communications blog like this one, has recorded views from virtually all parts of the globe. So thank you very much indeed for your patronage!

Now to the business at hand...

As mentioned in this post  about plans for 2013, I think it would be a good idea to begin a culture of dialogue on this blog by having discussion forums on certain themes to foster the exchange of ideas; kind of like a 'network' forum if you will. Think of LinkedIn groups and you'd be right on target.

Guidelines for discussion forums

1)  The discussion forums would be time-limited and would be opened for one month only from the date of posting. During that specified period, no other blog posts would be written. This would eliminate conflicting or confusing analyses from other topics.

2)  Only comments related to the topic would be approved and posted. Although there would be no word limit, for ease of networking, comments should kindly be kept brief.

3) Contributors would be required to use professional language. Therefore, those using inappropriate language would have their comments rejected. Similarly, comments written as  personal attacks would be immediately discarded. We need to keep the forum professional and clean for the benefit of all.

4) Contributors should kindly edit their comments for length or for grammatical clarity before sending for approval.


5) Comments which have been approved would be published within 24-48 hours.


If the response rate is encouraging from this first discussion and if there is an indicated interest for regular discussions on the blog, I would gladly incorporate suggested discussion topics in the nearest future at specific periods...

This is an experimental effort so please be patient with me while I explore this opportunity.

I believe that you, valued readers from across the globe, are seasoned professionals in your varied capacities and would not only produce valuable insights, but would also make suggestions which would benefit everyone who takes out the time to read this blog. One should always strive for knowledge.

My last article in December 2012, listed 6 tips about what NOT  to do at the workplace regarding communications. Given that it is a very important theme in this blog and being a self-proclaimed communications advocate, I believe it would be a good place to start.

So here we go...

Discussion Forum  #1 :  20  January  2013 - 17 February 2013  at  00.00  Western African Time


Please share your stories - good or bad - about communications at the workplace. Did a top executive handle the media frenzy with enviable tact during a crisis? Was there an email or a memo which wrecked havoc in your company? We want to hear about them all!

What did you learn from those experiences?

What suggestions would you gladly make to Management if you were given the opportunity to air your views without fear or repercussions?


N.B - Images courtesy of


  1. Most companies especially the small scale businesses in Nigeria need be revamped,Customer service is appalling.I totally blame the managerial level of these companies, because the managers themselves are not qualified to claim such positions.
    One of the golden rules which is------- total commitment to their clients,which most of them miss out on,all they care is their profit.
    Consequently, general meetings should be held on weekly basis to bring their best service to their clients, from dialogue to preliminary actions on how to satisfy their clients. Storming ideas on what they can give their clients that they cannot get elsewhere especially after realizing competition is stiff.

    Also if the employees are treated well they will have high regards for their clients. In conclusion, communication is a powerful tool in any organization because it creates room for disciplinary actions when the rules of the organization are neglected.

  2. At one time, professional communication was part of training, especially supervisory training. It was a classroom course with exercises and scenarios. I think we need to go back to that.

  3. @ XpressUrselfShow - What detailed analysis, thank you!

    @ Alford Hardy - Thank you for your comment. Interesting point. I wonder why communications training is not automatically included in all training initiatives at the workplace.

    We would like to hear about specific accounts/stories relating to commmunications...

  4. Yannis Divis (via LinkedIn)4 February 2013 at 08:21

    Sometimes, an email prevents a crisis. Don't discourage your employees to communicate free with you. You learn more about your company in that way.

  5. We had issues with communication and power tussles. What we did to resolve this was to agree that the client was king. We then created a system for identifying internal clients. We added a "client pecking order" internally such that every unit was clear where they stood in line. The line was representative of how we were stacked as a company to meet the needs of the external Clients. Sales, Client Care, Marketing, Operations, Tech and Dev, Finance, HR, etc. We made it clear what the internal service chain was and it helped calm egos and made us focus on servicing our ultimate external clients by servicing internal clients.

  6. Good and Bad Communication. A work for a Health organisation. A few years ago our service was in financial difficulties with the recession and was at risk of not being financed for the next year. Letting the staff know was not handled as well as expected in my opinion. As a trainee within the organisation I had the opputunity to attend external meetings where I met Top Managers and during a scenario discussions I sensed that our service was at risk. However it was only until about 2 months later that staff within our service and the Leads of the operational board got to know. Innocently a junior memb of staff asked what had been happened and I gave her a bit more info! She then went into a panic convinced she would loose her job. I had good advice from an Admin Manager if our op board team who said I probably should have said nothing till the formal meeting the next day. A good lesson of work place politics. I felt the ops board should have been told in advance to prepare us more. It did affect staff morale. I am happy to say as we speak these my ex-collleague have not lost their jobs but yes there has be reshuffling and change of role and a few early retirements planned. Thanks.

  7. Here's my communications story.

    I work in a multi-disciplinary team of professionals involved in a long term oilfield development project. As part of a team of skilled professionals, we have a project leader reporting to a group of managers. The project lead usually gives updates to the managers on progress. On a certain occasion, one of the team members decided to send an email to the managers detailing his specific achievements on the project. Needless to say this did not go down well with the other team members and the team leader, who was totally bypassed in the official chain of command.

    The team member who sent the email probably thought it was a show of ambition, and leadership skills, however it only succeeded in bringing negativity into overall delivery and poor team dynamics, that upset the project delivery.

  8. @ Yannis Divis and Bobby Ikazoboh - Thank you for your comments.

    @ Anonymous of 6th and 7th February - Thank you for detailed accounts.

    1. A big 'Thank You' to all who participated in this blog's first-ever discussion forum!

      The discussion is now closed.

      I hope you are keeping tabs. A new post would be published soon....


We know you have opinions. Kindly post your comments.