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Path to Good Communications = Path to Success

Blog

Path to Good Communications = Path to Success

By: Chris Sadler, President, Allegiancy

November 19, 2014

I recently read with great joy “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead” by Charles Murray.   Although I was dismayed to learn that I am a curmudgeon, I highly recommend the book to people hoping to advance in their careers.  The book started as an internal company blog to help employees with questions about writing.  As such, it offers practical advice on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and word choice.

But what brought Mr. Murray’s treasure to mind is a blog I recently read on “Globe Street” by Anthony LoPinto called, “A Serious National Crisis.”  Mr. LoPinto highlighted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) frustration with public filings that are full of bad grammar, faulty punctuation and confusing writing.  It’s embarrassing that major corporations would allow such work to go out their doors and into the SEC.

If large companies with armies of legal and communications people are submitting poor work products to the SEC, then clearly we have a communications crisis.  Have we gotten lazy?  Just sloppy?  Or as I fear, are we not teaching our children how to write and think clearly?

We at Allegiancy are doing our part to combat the communications crisis.  We are committed to clear, crisp communications, both written and oral.  In fact, everyone at Allegiancy is taking a writing class.  In our business — and likely in yours — we have learned that we must convey clear messages to clients, employees, and vendors if we expect to achieve our intended results.

As another example, many other commercial real estate asset managers bury their investors in monthly reports filled with piles of financial data.   They send so much data that it becomes meaningless and impossible for anyone but an accountant to make sense of it all.   This practice is the antithesis of good communications.  At Allegiancy, we instead distill a property’s performance into a written narrative that tells owners exactly what’s happening each month.   We don’t bury them in numbers and expect them to figure things out.  We believe it’s our job to care for our clients’ investments and to clearly tell them what’s going on.

We at Allegiancy believe that another aspect of good communications is being available.  We return phone calls and respond to questions within 24 hours.  We’ve found that being accessible has an interesting byproduct:   trust.  When someone doesn’t respond quickly, people begin to think a company is avoiding an issue, or hiding something.  It has been amazing how much credit we’ve received from our clients for simply answering the phone, or calling them right back.  Simple, inexpensive but highly effective.

Mr. LoPinto was correct that poor communications is a national crisis, but it is one we can resolve.  We can take responsibility for our own communications and commit to doing better.  What I’ve found is that the results can pleasantly surprise you – at home and work.

 

Learn more about building trust by downloading our whitepaper.

 

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