Tuesday, September 7, 2010

communication is (still) key

In the past eleven years I've been part of a college community (as student + professional),  some things have changed with regard to technology, while some things remain the same.  Certainly, we have become more accessible with cell phones (yes, I am guilty of caring a Blackberry).  But the importance of communicating among staff has not changed, whether building manager, program committee member or graduate assistant.  

As the new school year gets underway, I rely on several of forms of communication during opening.  Email is my primary source of communicating to a group and face-to-face conversations are also relied upon, especially during training.  
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Throughout the course of a day at The Rondileau Campus Center at BSU, 
our staff uses on the following:
1- Nextels 
2 -phones (office + cell)
3 - email
4- paper/pen
5- white board/markers
6- a database software (FileMakerPro)
7- text messaging

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One system is not enough.  The challenge can be that if someone doesn't consult the multiple systems, they can too quickly reach for the phone, in hopes of seeking immediate information or a quick fix.  I work hard to set boundaries with staff regarding when they should call me or text me or email me.   During an evening or weekend, building managers are taught to check all sources before calling or texting me, while during the workday they should check those systems and then ask me in person or via Nextel.  

The breakdown (when there is one) in communication typically occurs when someone does not know where to turn to for information, which is why training is vital to our success throughout the course of the semester.  In training, we emphasize how event activity increases when the semester is underway and learning resources & systems from the beginning is necessary to our success.  

What form of communication do you & your staff use most often?

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