15:00 (GMT+2), Fri, 26 October 2012
Communication must be one of the most under-valued and misunderstood activities on a market floor.
I can hear many a market agent indignantly refuting me, saying: “But I talk to my farmers all the time. I give them prices and I keep in touch with them.” I don’t dispute that. But the complexities of market trading take communication beyond the producer-salesperson interaction. A salesperson has to communicate with numerous other role players, such as buyers, market staff, colleagues and anyone else who crosses their path. Everyone has their own requirements and idiosyncrasies, which must be added to the mix.
Furthermore, because communication can also be a complex process at times, it’s often only done in part, or without fully considering the ramifications of what’s said. People are frequently in a hurry, or under pressure, and one of the first casualties is communication – when, in fact, it should become even more of a priority under challenging circumstances.
At such times a cool head is required and extra effort should be put into communicating effectively.
Communication is a lot more than talking or even listening. It also requires thought and planning. We’ve all opened our mouths to change feet at some time when a little forethought would have helped us avoid the gaffe. When a salesperson, for example, is in the middle of a busy morning on the market floor and is inundated by more than one demanding buyer, then it’s understandable if the right words don’t always come out of their mouth. I’ve seen it many times – when a serious clash between a buyer and salesperson or market staff and a salesperson could have been averted through better communication – from both parties!
We’re all faced with differing degrees of ‘communication complexities’, and addressing these on a market floor is an important requirement for all who work there. Unfortunately, most will never receive any formal training on how to communicate properly. But that doesn’t relieve anyone of the responsibility to try and communicate as effectively as possible at all times.
Contact Mike Cordes at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please state ‘Market floor’ in the subject line of your email.
Issue date: 12 October 2012
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