How many realities are there in your organisation?
Understanding how other see things is an important ingredient in any form of communication whether that communication is a large scale enterprise-wide change implementation or a presentation to a Senior Management Team.
Our attitudes, behaviour and judgment are all based on our perception, we don’t see reality itself.
What we experience we interpret and call it reality. We all are unique; there is only one of me and there is only one of you. We all have our own ‘world’, our own way of looking at and understanding our environment and the people within it. Two or more people may be involved in a situation, the situation may be the same and yet the interpretation of that situation by each individual is going to be different; sometimes vastly different.
Social norms and slios
In addition to our “individual reality” most of us live and work within teams or departments and each of those have established social norms. A broad definition of such norms is that they are the agreed-upon expectations and rules by which a population guides or shapes the behaviour of its members in a given situation. This means that in a context where everybody, or nearly everybody, holds certain views, operates by certain values and lives up to certain expectations; the practice of the accepted norm re-enforces the norm.
Communicating across teams and departments
Messages sometimes have to be shared across multiple teams and departments, sometimes across different Countries and cultures. Usually people working in one team or department (a single reality) have the job of formulating the message for everyone across the organisation; across those different teams, departments and realities. Those people who are the receivers of the message will be living in several different realities. Success with the communication lies in the ability to formulate and deliver the message in a way that enables the recipients to accept it based on their own reality and not the authors. Sure, it is the same organisation but irrespective if the author works in senior management and the receivers works in the warehouse, in the reception or in the IT-department it is vital to accept that the audience will filter and interpret the message based on their own reality.
Have you taken into consideration that there are many realities in your organisation?