Communication Breakdown

Ok, so the Led Zeppelin song “Communication Breakdown” doesn’t really relate to my post any further than having the word “communication” in the title, but I do like that song! 🙂

So I know I have mentioned before that I blog stalk. It all started when one of my coworkers got pregnant and started a blog. I started reading her blog – which is completely adorable. She is one of those “clever” writers I spoke of in my first post. After a while, I started clicking on her friends’ blogs and reading them. That’s when I started to feel like a total psychopath because now, when my coworker talks about going to see her friend from Ohio’s new baby, I not only know which friend she is referring to, but I also know the new baby’s name, what the baby’s room looks like, the parent’s thoughts on parenting, and way more information than I ever should know when I haven’t ever met said Ohio friend. Now I even search for blogs to read. When I decided to start my own blog, I had to search to make sure no one had the same name that I wanted. Which is how I came across the blog of BusinessBelle. She has a great posting here on the way women communicate in the workplace. I always thought my communication skills were above average when I worked at “The Attraction.” But when I started at the corporate office, I realized I had a lot to learn. See, the way you are taught to communicate in a customer service environment and they way people communicate in a corporate environment are two TOTALLY different things.

The way I see it:

Customer Service Communication – Smiling, friendly, wordy, apologetic, helpful (what can I do for you), “ultra-explanatory”, lengthy (I have all the time in the world for you), tiptoeing around an issue as to not offend anyone
Corporate World Communication – Direct, to the point, assertive, purposeful (what can you do for me), urgent (I have no time for you)

I’m not trying to be negative and make it sound as if all corporate level employees are rude, arrogant and mean. (Because I don’t know ANY professionals with those qualities. 🙂 ) I’m just trying to show the difference between the type of communication I was used to for 9 years and the corporate world type I have had to adjust to. Businessbelle’s example of the differences between how men talk and how women talk really hit home. When I started at the corporate office, that is the exact way I would approach anyone I needed to speak with – shy, intimated, wordy, and overly friendly. I would come across as ditzy and annoying. Now I’ve learned to completely plan out what I am going to say before I walk into someone’s office. I try to be direct, to the point and quick. I get the info I need and then let them get back to work. I never apologize for interrupting (if they have their door open and they aren’t on the phone, they should expect people to come in and talk to them).

There are so many other differences I am realizing between what I have known in my 8 years working in customer service and the few years I have worked in a professional environment. I wonder sometimes if my customer service background is keeping me from getting ahead in the business world. If I had been more assertive from the beginning, maybe I wouldn’t have been laid off? And maybe if I am more assertive in this position, I won’t be laid off again. Speaking of…

Just found out they are interviewing someone for my position next week. UG!

Dear God, PLEASE let me keep this job. I really don’t want to be laid off twice in less than 6 months!