Talk to me, dammit!

It’s an interesting, old life, isn’t it?

Despite the fact that we’re bombarded with brand messages, offers and new ideas, through more and more sophisticated channels of communication, we seem to have lost the art of talking to each other.

I’m hearing the same, old things from clients and associates:-

“Internal communication isn’t very good here.”

“No-one tells us what they’re doing.”

“They think that what they do doesn’t impinge on what we’re doing.”

“I can’t do my job because they’re not giving me enough information.”

If I had a fiver for every time I’ve heard that during my career I would be relaxing in my villa in the Maldives, right now.

The fact is, you can never get internal communication 100% right.

There will always be someone who wants their information in a different way, or feels hard done by, or who gets so immersed in their work that they forget to tell anyone else about it.

So what’s the answer? Get sucked even further into your own, little silo or try a bit harder?

It’s amazing how many people don’t realise that everyone markets an organisation, not just the marketing department. They also forget that an organisation is the sum of its parts and if those parts aren’t all working together it can be a disaster.

Sometimes, it’s easier to get your head around the fact that you must share information across the business to get more people buying your product or engaging with your organisation, than it is to share information with a colleague you don’t like very much.

As my old mum says “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

You can’t force people to communicate with you – but you can tell them why it would be really helpful if they did.

Incentivise them; talk to them not at them; let them choose the way they keep you informed – and for goodness’ sake, listen to them when they do.

Internal communication isn’t rocket science – it’s just about being open, listening and acknowledging that we’re all different.

So get up from behind your desk tomorrow, go and talk to people and ask them what they’re up to in their particular area of work – and do it regularly.

You might just find that you like it.




About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.


  1. Dave Smith says:

    Hi Philippa

    Spot on as ever.

    I’m spoilt in my current role – a small team of about 16 people, we all sit together on the same floor and are encouraged by our MD to talk, talk, talk.

    Emails are deliberately kept to a minimum and used more as a tool of record or to send files etc. If we have questions, walking (OK, sometimes shouting!) across the office is positively encouraged, and even in our dealings with our head office in the US, everyone is on Skype so that, again, we don’t resort to plonking out an email and thinking our job is done.

    Who was it used to say “it’s good to talk”?

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