Good communication is almost as important as money in racing

Motorsports, drag racing in our case here, is an interesting study in human interaction, interpersonal communications along with personal chemistry. I have some knowledge of this as one of my college degrees is Communication with emphasis in Interpersonal Communication.

What makes a successful company thrive in motorsports? In many cases, the first answer people give is funding or resources. Both are very important components to having a successful race team. As we can all attest, racecars run on money.

However, in the grand scheme of things, race teams and most successful business ventures run on people. High on the list is the ability of people to interact together in a positive manner to achieve a common goal set forth by the leader of the group. In other words … teamwork.

The success of any team is based on the principle of teamwork, and this principle is dependent on good open lines of communication and personal chemistry.

When we talk about interpersonal communications, it is based on how a communicator /sender (speaker) and the receiver (listener) interact during a conversation. One person talks as the other listens and then vice versa. Generally, it considered by many people to be a one-way process, however it is not.

As the sender is talking to the receiver many think there is no interaction by the receiver. However, the receiver of the message simultaneously is sending a message using non-verbal communication means.

It could be in the affirmative with a head nod of acknowledgement or a smile of approval, or it could also be a hundred and eighty degrees the other way such as failing to make eye contact with the message sender or a facial look of boredom, folding the arms across the chest; this sends the message of displeasure without saying a word. (There ya go, Interpersonal Communications 451, one semester of upper level college communications in a short paragraph.)

Where am I going with this you might ask? Well, you might say I am using it as a baseline for other things. We are just going to examine how a short circuit in communications may have been the root cause of the breakup of a very prominent race team.

I am looking at this situation from a clinical standpoint; no one is pointing fingers or assigning blame for this situation.

We see and hear of different combinations of skilled personnel being put together to form a race team. One item that seems to be overlooked is the communication skills or the chemistry of the individuals in question.

When individuals communicate verbally, messages are sent, but when “noise” interferes with the way the receiver gets the message it muddles that message. What happens then we say is a misunderstanding or miscommunication. This noise is not always physical noise, but can be on of personalities, and indifference.