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Vicky Wireko
Vicky Wireko

Why communication is the end game

How true it is to say that communication and a good and meaningful one at that crushes ice barriers. It builds credibility and trust and gathers a solid community of followers.

Some observations I made earlier this week could not have been far from that assertion. As a communicator, I have learnt over the years that healthy communication yields bounties of fruits. Relationships break down because of a lack of good communication.  

Businesses topple down when they do not open up to their stakeholders. Governments begin to have credibility issues where the citizenry is stifled with information. In other words, due to a lack of information and understanding, suspicions arise; there is no cooperation and buy-in. Chaos builds up most of the time.

I had gone to this once-upon-a-time popular supermarket to get a favourite item I had run out of. I had not been in there for months so I was surprised to see its doors closed and secured with heavy chains. 

Disappointed, I did not even get down and continued to drive out, only to be stopped by a former shop assistant of the shop. I asked her why a popular shop, which had served the public for decades with quality foods, despite recent downsizing, had finally brought the curtains down.

Taxes

Her simple answer was: “The taxes are too many”.  As I drove out I thought I had made a mistake for not engaging her to get a deeper understanding as to what she meant by her response. 

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I concluded, nonetheless, that was the briefing management might have given them as part of the information and reasons to send them home. I have since been thinking of her answer knowing that in times of redundancy, managements look more for external factors as the mainstay of their excuses to avoid chaos.

Was the question of taxes a good enough communication to accept, seeing the number of supermarkets still standing? Or, to them as management, was it the most popular route of escape from chaos and win the sympathy of the workers, who according to the lady, were told they would be called back soon?

Taxes may not have been the reason for such a supermarket to draw its curtains down. Yes, businesses are suffering and so are formal workers whose income taxes have supported and continue to support the country for years until recently when the tax net was widened.  

Even individuals, including pensioners, are crushed under the imposition of a tall list of taxes.

It hurts even harder when one shops at a supermarket. The list of taxes added to the bill alone 

OW true it is to say that communication and a good and meaningful one at that crushes ice barriers. It builds credibility and trust and gathers a solid community of followers.  

Some observations I made earlier this week could not have been far from that assertion. As a communicator, I have learnt over the years that healthy communication yields bounties of fruits. Relationships break down because of a lack of good communication.  

Businesses topple down when they do not open up to their stakeholders. Governments begin to have credibility issues where the citizenry is stifled with information. In other words, due to a lack of information and understanding, suspicions arise; there is no cooperation and buy-in. Chaos builds up most of the time.

I had gone to this once-upon-a-time popular supermarket to get a favourite item I had run out of. I had not been in there for months so I was surprised to see its doors closed and secured with heavy chains. 

Disappointed, I did not even get down and continued to drive out, only to be stopped by a former shop assistant of the shop. I asked her why a popular shop, which had served the public for decades with quality foods, despite recent downsizing, had finally brought the curtains down.

Taxes

Her simple answer was: “The taxes are too many”.  As I drove out I thought I had made a mistake for not engaging her to get a deeper understanding as to what she meant by her response. 

I concluded, nonetheless, that was the briefing management might have given them as part of the information and reasons to send them home. I have since been thinking of her answer knowing that in times of redundancy, managements look more for external factors as the mainstay of their excuses to avoid chaos.

Was the question of taxes a good enough communication to accept, seeing the number of supermarkets still standing? Or, to them as management, was it the most popular route of escape from chaos and win the sympathy of the workers, who according to the lady, were told they would be called back soon?

Taxes may not have been the reason for such a supermarket to draw its curtains down. Yes, businesses are suffering and so are formal workers whose income taxes have supported and continue to support the country for years until recently when the tax net was widened.  

Even individuals, including pensioners, are crushed under the imposition of a tall list of taxes.

It hurts even harder when one shops at a supermarket. The list of taxes added to the bill alone creates regret for not shopping at a local container shop or in the open market.   

My worry as a communicator was that this former shop assistant and her colleagues sent home may not have been given the full facts but who is to blame for the lack of education on thorny issues that affect the majority of the people? The gap that is always left creates disfavour for the people in charge of affairs.

Overload of information

An overload of information is good. It creates openness and avoids wrongful relays. Thorny issues such as “nuisance taxes” that have been creating tensions for everyone need continued discussions and education. Enough of information leaves very little room for mischief.

Having seen and read in the media about all the agitations from businesses and organised labour, by now one would have expected the Ministries and Departments concerned to have created spaces for regular updates to citizens as a healthy way forward so as not to leave room for distortions.

It is well and good to engage organised labour and other groups but how many of them go back to cascade down the information? That is when communicating directly with the people helps to break down information to all levels.

We may have lost the good old Information Services van that used to carry valuable information around to the doorstep of people. However, one still has a beautiful relay system through the Ministry of Information. In an era of discerned people, hungry for information, regular briefing sessions through the ministry is a healthy posturing, helping the public with an array of information to also be in the chain of communication dissemination.

Talking about the relevance of communication brings to mind the New Patriotic Party (NPP) flag bearer’s town hall meeting last Wednesday to explain his reason for wanting to take up the job of the next President.

With the theme, “Bold Solutions for the future”, he broke the ice for those who have been wondering why he wanted to shift to the driving seat after eight years of a position he described as a driver’s mate.

Affable communicator as he has always been, he communicated so creditably at his seeming job interview pleading for a chance to be accepted into the job.

For his ability to communicate so convincingly, I would have given him the job, expecting that he would discharge himself creditably if given the nod. No doubt for the next week or so, his dish of information will permeate every closed wall.                                                        

I am alluding to the fact that communication is effective and good communication draws goodwill and trust. Let us use it creditably.

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