Q: Have you noticed that the horticulture industry, in general, uses antiquated ways to communicate? If so, please explain?

A: Yes. We have this interesting disparity where end users and employees are using technology, but companies haven’t quite kept up with that. Everybody’s faxing service verification and invoicing and why? That’s very, very old. But I think we’re in an interesting place now where there’s a shift in generational leadership and comfortability with technology, where more is beginning to hit horticulture companies at a faster rate.

Q: When it comes to communicating with employees, what should business owners understand?

A: The most important thing to understand is that we’re still communicating with people and so much of communication is about perception, the purpose behind the communication or the meaning behind what is said. Very little of it is about the words that are spoken or typed. Technology can limit the transfer of emotion, and it makes it difficult for employees to effectively communicate the same way as we do in person. In the seminar, I go through all the major communications that we use — conference calling, video chatting, email, fax and in-person communication — and help attendees understand that these methods of communication can bring in convenience, but also take away meaning and fidelity of the conversation.

Q: Is there a difference between communicating with employees and customers?

A: I think it’s similar. It’s all about building that real connection with somebody and helping them understand what you’re trying to accomplish in terms of the relationship, the actions that need to be taken and how you’re going to work together toward a common goal.

Q: You’re going to discuss 2-D and 3-D communication in your presentation. What exactly does that mean?

A: That’s a great question. I define 3-D as communication that involves a “why” or an emotional hook. 2-D communication is very transactional communication. You’d have to come to the seminar to hear the whole thing, but basically, the difference between 2-D and 3-D is the reason why political discussions on Facebook don’t work.

Q: What are some of the new tools of communication?

A: There’s so many tools, they change all the time and by the time I present this in a couple months, there will already be new ones. Slack has become popular and is a buzzword to talk about. Most companies now are offering live chat, whether it’s just through Facebook messenger or Zendesk. I think what’s important is not staying on top of the latest, greatest method of communicating, but better understanding a process for communicating that’ll ensure that we don’t lose touch with the human on the other end of the connection.

Q: How can small business owners keep up with and implement new tools of communication?

A: I think the best way is to build a culture of collaboration where people who are particularly interested in communication or new technologies have freedom to introduce it, where teams can decide collectively, how they prefer to communicate and find not just what’s new, but what’s going to work best for the team.

Want To Go?

“The New Way to Communicate in Business in 2019”
Sunday, July 14, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., Short North Ballroom A

As communication continues to evolve, so should the connection between industry leaders, employees and their customers. Neal Glatt is a managing partner of GrowTheBench, an organization that enhances industry brands through professional education and development. As a certified coach with Gallup and John Maxwell organizations, Glatt will share the importance of investing in people and adapting to communication trends.