How Your Communication and Language Drives Organisational Behaviours

How Your Communication and Language Drives Organisational Behaviours
February 29, 2024 Linda Murray

Communication serves as the lifeblood that shapes its culture and influences the behaviours of its members. From formal directives to informal conversations, the language used within an organisation not only reflects its values but also plays a crucial role in determining its success. In this blog, we’ll delve into the impact of communication patterns on organisational behaviours and explore strategies for fostering a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect.

Understanding Communication Patterns

Communication within an organisation occurs through various channels, including emails, meetings, memos, and informal conversations. These interactions establish norms, expectations, and social dynamics that shape the organisational culture. Formal communication channels convey official policies and procedures, while informal communication often reflects the underlying attitudes and beliefs of employees.

Defining the Ideal Organisational Culture

Creating an ideal organisational culture begins with a shared understanding of values, norms, and behaviours that align with the organisation’s mission and vision. As a team, it’s essential to articulate what this culture looks like on a day-to-day basis. This involves identifying phrases, attitudes, and behaviours that contribute positively to the culture and those that are detrimental.

Recognising Historical Communication Patterns

Examining historical communication patterns reveals entrenched behaviours and language that may no longer align with the desired organisational culture. Clicks and silos, where certain groups or departments operate independently, can hinder collaboration and innovation. Recognising and addressing these patterns is essential for driving cultural change.

Embracing a Growth Mindset

Adopting a “what got us here won’t get us there” mindset acknowledges the need for continual growth and adaptation. It requires a willingness to challenge existing norms and experiment with new communication strategies to foster a culture of transparency, inclusivity, and accountability.

Aligning Culture with Behaviour

Culture is not just what is written in mission statements or posted on office walls; it is embodied in everyday behaviours. Agreeing on specific actions that exemplify the desired culture and those that do not is crucial for aligning behaviour with organisational values.

Setting Up Systems for Accountability

Creating systems that encourage open feedback and accountability is essential for maintaining a healthy organisational culture. Establishing norms for gentle reminders or calling out behaviours that deviate from the agreed-upon standards helps prevent the perpetuation of harmful communication patterns.

Communication is the foundation upon which organisational culture is built. By recognising the influence of communication patterns on behaviour, teams can work together to define and cultivate an ideal organisational culture. This involves identifying historical communication patterns, agreeing on desired behaviours, and setting up systems for accountability. Ultimately, fostering a culture of open dialogue and mutual respect enables organisations to thrive in an ever-changing environment.

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