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Help for Managers With Poor Communication Skills

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Posted 18 January 2010 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with the development of your communication skills training.

Help for managers with poor communication skills

A common management mistake you should avoid

There is a common mistake made my many managers.
It is a cause of "errors in judgment".
Managers, since your future is based partially on your "good judgment", sources of error should be eliminated.
Here is the source of the error.

It is called "cause-correlation" error.

The cause correlation error is defined as:
The error of assuming that one thing causes another, because they occur at the same time, or one habitually follows the other- i.e. they are linked in time (but NOT necessarily, in logic.)

Examples of the cause correlation error include:

  1. There is a change of government and the next week London share prices fall 3%
    The papers say "New government causes collapse in confidence".
  2. You get a new IT manager and the computer system fails the following day.
    You say "The new guy didn't take long to make a bad impression!"
  3. You lose your umbrella, and then the rain clouds empty themselves on your head.
  4. You say "the gods are against me!"

The point to bear in mind here is:

Sometimes there is a real cause-effect relationship that exists when two things that "go together".
And often there is NOT.

Examples of true cause effect pairs:
Lighting is followed by thunder: They are logically linked.
Three bottles of wine is followed by a bad head: they are logically linked.
Going over your overdraught limit, is followed by higher bank charges; they are logically linked.

But sometimes things that go together are NOT logically linked.

  1. 1. Poverty and crime:
    Poverty and crime are not necessarily linked.
    (Poverty does not cause crime, though they often go together).
  2. High sales and good profits:
    They are not necessarily linked.
    (High sales do not guarantee good profits, though they often go together).
  3. Hard work and success;
    They are not necessarily linked.
    (Hard work does not guarantee success, though they often go together).
  4. Money and happiness:

They are not necessarily linked.
(Money does not guarantee happiness, though they can be found together).

The goal is:

To check your thinking:

Check that those things that you have classified as "going together" are logically and necessarily linked.
Do not make the mistake of instantly and uncritically assuming that two that occur together, are logically linked, simply because they come in pairs.
In the words of my good friend, "John, the philosopher king"

Think it through!

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