BY FREDA MIKLIN
Communication is the key to working together to solve problems in the business world.
That was the message at a meeting of the South Metro Denver Chamber’s Women in Business Committee March 1.
The meeting, held at the Re/Max Headquarters, on the Denver side of Belleview Avenue was hosted by Kristie Nelson, chair of the women’s group. The speaker was leadership instructor and coach Julie Holunga.
The goals Holunga had for this meeting were to help the 70 who attended from banking, accounting, insurance, government and the not-for-profit world better manage the impact of their communications, replace judgment with understanding of others, and acquire tools to build trust within their teams to help solve everyday business problems.
Holunga focused on the importance of understanding other people’s styles of listening and reacting, pointing out how misinterpreting others’ intentions and misreading their behaviors lead to erroneous assumptions, followed by incorrect conclusions. She said that her version of the golden rule of effective communication is, “Speak to others the way they want to be spoken to.” Breakdown, she said, occurs between the intent and the impact of communications. She even quoted none other than Dr. Phil: “The most effective leaders know when to flex their behaviors to match their audiences’ needs.”
A case study was discussed in which Google determined that miscommunications cost the company 20 percent of its revenues at a time when revenues were $22 billion, or $4.4 billion. Holunga didn’t explain how they determined the 20 percent. Regardless, the problem to which it points is real. “You are influencing people all the time, whether you plan it or not,” she said. Her message was, the key to effective communications is to focus on the listener, not yourself. If you take the time to understand how your listener receives information and reacts to it, you will know how to communicate effectively as an individual and as a team in a business setting. Being willing to go outside one’s comfort zone, mindfulness and self-awareness are keys to using this tool effectively.
Ting was in the house
Sponsoring the breakfast part of the program were representatives from Ting Internet, who answered questions about its role with the City of Centennial. Bryan Upcraft, strategic account manager, said Ting partnered with Centennial by building a fiber network throughout the city to bring one-gig upload and download speed to residents and businesses. About that speed, he said “Our technology is future-proof.” He said that they believe their service is better than the available alternatives. Upcraft said the retail price of their service to residential customers is $89/month.
Holunga is one of a select group of certified masters in Emergenetics, a “train the trainer” organization that counts among its interpersonal communications consulting clients Microsoft, MillerCoors Brewery Co, Citibank, U.S. Air Force, Singapore Prison Services, the Daniels Fund and Colorado State University.
Holunga holds degrees in French literature and economics, along with an MBA from Boston College. She has lived in France, India, Hong Kong and Canada, now making her home in Golden.