UBC Library and Archives

This is a talk: a talk about workplace communication Byrne, Gillian


Almost universally, studies have shown that those in leadership positions feel as though they spend an inordinate amount of time communicating down, while those in operational positions consistently report there isn’t sufficient communication. Assuming no bad actors (that leaders are trying as hard as they say they are and that the rest of the organization is receptive to communication), why the dichotomy? Focusing on libraries and using my experiences as a framing device, I’ll examine some of the structural issues that I believe reinforce the gaps and shortfalls in organizational communication, including the limitations of existing channels and formats and the lack of shared understanding and vocabularies. I’ll then suggest some strategies for improving information flow, such as being explicit about intent and the importance of embedding appropriate context into communication. And for my final trick, I’ll do all this while tackling the role organizational politics plays in communication with the laser focus and ferocity of an all-star NFL defensive end.

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