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Two-Way Communication: Making Sure That Your Messages Are Understood

· Communication,Expectations

Last week at the bank, I went to make a few deposits. The bank’s computers were down and I asked the teller if there would be a hold on a certain check. There usually wasn’t a hold on deposits from my commercial account (from another bank) to my personal one here, but I wanted to be sure. Leeann, the teller, said that when the system was back up, she’d check it and if I didn’t hear from her, then that means there wouldn’t be a hold. Personally, I wasn’t comfortable with her response.

What I needed was for Leeann to let me know either way. What I wanted to be certain of was the avoidance of human error. If the system was up and running, I’d have my answer on the spot so aren’t I entitled to have it later on? Her presentation was it would be easier for her to contact me only one way and not either way. And she’s in the business of customer service and I needed to be served appropriately.

What if there needed to be a hold this time and she forgot to contact me. Considering that the system was down, it’s obvious she’d have to enter a whole stack of transactions after customers had left her window and although she’d probably enter the data correctly, remembering to call me particularly could be overlooked. This way, if I didn’t hear from her, I could call and follow-up. With her idea for an “only if” communication like that, there is the possibility of miscommunication. Trouble like this could be avoided if people communicate more effectively in the first place. Understanding and applying better communication is just one of the universal themes with which coaches assists their clients.