A valuable reminder at Berlin airport about effective communication

At Berlin airport this week, whilst waiting around for our plane back to Dublin from Germany, I was reminded of the value of clear communication.

There was a ground support worker-he may have had some type of supervisory role-who I watched in action for some time. He had a tremendous range of hand signals with which he communicated with other ground handling staff, colleagues and persons on the concrete apron where airplanes loaded and disgorged its cargo and passengers.

This guy’s hand signals and gestures were so effective that I almost felt I understood what he was communicating to the recipient of his gestures. Even though he was out on the concrete apron and I was inside the airport building completely soundproofed from what he was saying.

It reminded me of the powerful value of effective communication with your audience, regardless of who your audience is or what language they are comfortable with. This guy had adapted and improved his hand gestures and body language to the point where there was little room for confusion about what he was saying.

For any small business owner there is a priceless lesson here. You must communicate with your audience in the way that is most effective.

Not the way that others are doing their communication, not in the language that was used decades or years ago in your profession or industry, not in a way that makes you feel strong and professional.

In the way that makes it most likely that your message will be accepted and understood. 

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