It’s an odd feeling to have, to be working for a company that values my input, values my voice. A company that wants me to succeed, not only so the company is successful, but so that I am as well.
How do I know I’m working at such a place? Because I’ve been working here for only a few months, and they’ve already invested in me. By paying for all new hires to take the course, “Effective Communications,” Top Class Actions told me my voice matters. The course taught me so many ways to communicate successfully, but when it taught me the value of “Speaking Truth to Power,” I knew I was at a company that valued my input. I knew I was at a company that not only wanted me to share my voice, but they also wanted me to challenge the voice of others, even those in positions of Leadership (respectfully, of course), so that the pool of shared meaning would grow larger and, in turn, the company would grow with it.
I’m grateful for this course. It’s helped me grow my communication style – both in the workplace and at home in my personal relationships.
Perhaps the concept that resonated most with me is that the most important part of any meaningful conversation is both the beginning and the end. At the beginning, we need to create a space of respect and openness. We need to make people comfortable sharing their truth, comfortable adding to the pool of shared meaning. At the end, we need to decide what action needs to be taken (Who, Does What, By When, And How Will You Follow Up?).
I think the reason these concepts resonated so profoundly with me is because prior to this course, to this company, most professional meetings I attended had either a toxic environment or a disinterested, disorganized one. People were always more than happy to talk about problems, but rarely were solutions part of the conversation. I would leave meetings feeling overwhelmed and powerless to make change.
This course, and the environment at TCA, has taught me that meetings do not have to be toxic and overwhelming. With the right people on my team, and the right communication tools, meetings and dialogue can create meaningful change. With that, I can feel valued and respected for what I bring to the collective table. This, I believe, has made all the difference in my job satisfaction at TCA and has made my transition to this team one that doesn’t feel toxic or overwhelming, but rather feels like I hit the professional lottery.
I’m leaving this course feeling like I have more tools in my communication toolbox. Tools that will make communicating in both my professional and personal life more meaningful. I know the work environment at TCA won’t always be sunshine and roses. There will be tough conversations, crucial ones that will change the trajectory of my work and even the company. But now, thanks to this course, I feel like I’m a little more equipped to handle those conversations. But more importantly, after taking this course in its entirety, I feel at an even deeper level that my company values my voice.
Dr. Maggie Cogar | Guest Author
Dr. Maggie Cogar has a master’s degree in journalism and a Ph.D. in Communication & Information from Kent State University in Ohio. As the strategic marketing manager at Top Class Actions, she spends her time doing digital marketing research and overseeing editorial content production for the site.