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Common sense but not common practice

Common sense but not common practice

I first heard this phrase some years ago from an FCO colleague. We were jointly presenting a time management course at the time and this summed up most of what we 'taught' perfectly.

Since then I've lost count of how many times I've used it with various stakeholders when developing their Internal Comms plans – and it always generates a wry look and a nod of the head.

For as practitioners we know that much of what we advise and craft is indeed common sense. We are (mostly) not ninjas who have magic skills which others cannot hope to gain or emulate. We don't promulgate rocket science!

So if it makes so much sense, then why is it not common practice?

Some leaders and managers just don't spend time thinking about it (even though I would argue that is exactly what they should be spending their time thinking about). Formulating a plan to communicate in a truly engaging dialogue rather than just imparting information is not necessarily in their purview. Sometimes it seems to be a lack of confidence – a worry that they don't know what they should or can say, a fear about having the right answers to questions. And occasionally we still come across leaders who genuinely don't see the benefits of engagement.

Whatever the reason, in the modern workplace where there is such a demand for information and a chance to contribute, our aim must be to turn that common sense into much more common practice.

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Thursday, 16 July 2020
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