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Communicate, Communicate & Communicate Some More

By Stephen Garber

Effective communication is a critical component of leadership across the board for all businesses, and its impact on business can mean the difference between failure and success for you, your teams, and your company.

Poor communication has been estimated to cost large businesses tens of millions of dollars every year. The annual cost to smaller companies is in the hundreds of thousands.

Some of the costs associated with poor communication are tangible:

• Missing deadlines

• Failure to deliver a product or service

• Lost productivity

• High employee turnover

• Loss of sales

• Collapse of negotiations or a business deal

• Poor customer service

Other costs may not be as obvious, but are just as destructive to the bottom line.

• Tension in the workplace

• A lack of trust and/or respect between employees, and between employees and management

• Misunderstandings

• Missed opportunities

• Lack of discipline

• Loss of employee motivation

• A negative effect on innovation

Although effective communication isn’t an innate skill for everyone, it is something that can be learned—on both the individual and the corporate levels. Leaders win when they make communication a priority from the top down, providing regular opportunities for information to be shared in both directions between all levels of the organization. It’s not enough to assume employees know what’s going on or will be able to figure it out on their own. Nor is it realistic to assume employees will feel comfortable sharing information with colleagues and management, unless that is part of your culture.

One key to effective communication, often overlooked, is the ability to actively listen. “Power listening” is a set of skills individuals can develop to use for personal and professional reasons. It involves listening with all of the senses, and connecting with the emotions and values that underlie what the other person is saying. A power listener receives information neutrally, focusing on the speaker’s experience and point of view without the context of pre-conceived notions or judgment.

It improves sales. It improves management effectiveness. And it improves people’s lives.

The monetary cost of poor communication should be a reality check for every leader, manager and business owner. Fortunately, the challenge of poor communication can be tackled and the loss of revenue can be addressed. As with so many issues in the workplace, meeting the problem head-on with a commitment to long-term change will bring about cultural change, and, ultimately, success. ♦

Steve Garber is director of Third Level Ltd. Contact him at 561.752.5505 or sgarber@thirdlevel.com.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.