Are you Over Communicating?
One of the most cited issues in workplace cultures is around communication. We’ve all experienced the lack of communication or a communication breakdown or a miscommunication! These are indicators for inadequate or incomplete communication. So it’s doubtful that you are over communicating in your workplace! In this video, Robin addresses why some of these issues exist and how to fix them.
Is Over Communicating The Problem?
One of the most cited issues in workplace cultures is around communication. How many of us have heard things about the lack of communication or a communication breakdown or a miscommunication? All of those are indicators for inadequate or incomplete communication. So it’s doubtful that you are over communicating in your workplace! In this video, I’m going to be talking about why some of these issues exist and how to fix them.
Three Factors of Communication Breakdowns
Let’s look at reasons why we’re having these communication breakdowns in the workplace.
- The first factor is related to the individual’s style. Some people are naturally more expressive than others, some more outwardly focused, and that will absolutely impact the degree in which they communicate.
- The second factor is time and resources. Is the person’s plate so full that they can’t find the time to communicate to the degree that you think they should?
- A third factor is the message itself. If the person will be coming out of their comfort zone to deliver a difficult message or one that they know will be ill-received, there is a natural hesitation not to bring it up to the surface.
In all cases, you can create a better communication model by reflecting back on these factors and recognizing how you can help or support the individual. Perhaps you can ask more questions or initiate the conversations or making sure you are open to the communication and not creating a road block.
Common Examples of Incomplete Communication
We’ve just explored some reasons why we have communications breakdowns. Now let’s look at a couple of common situations where we tend to have inadequate or incomplete communication. The first is not involving people who are indirectly related to the topic or project. We forget about those that are on the outside or just on the fringes. Maybe we think it’s unimportant or trivial to them and they don’t need to know. But a small piece of information like a schedule change or status update can make a difference in the way they proceed with their own work. It might completely change their priorities and we’re not thinking of it from their perspective.
Another very common problem with communication is that there is an assumption that once something is stated or told to a group or a person that it is complete and finished. But that’s not the case. We often have to reiterate or repeat a message for it be to understood. Communication is a two-way dialogue and until there is an action or understanding that happens on the receiving end, the communication is not complete.
Reflect on Your Communication Effectiveness
My challenge for you is to reflect on your communication effectiveness. Take out a piece of paper right now and write down the name of a project you are working on. Or perhaps you want to start with the names of people on your team or in your department. In either case, start to ask yourself questions about how you are communicating. Look at the frequency. Look at the approach. Who are you missing? This isn’t mean to be a long-term assignment; you can do this for a day or a week. It’s meant to get some trends and your awareness of how you are naturally communicating, and if you can quickly and easily see some places for improvement.
Do What You Can to Improve Communication
It’s very tempting to say, “Oh, it’s the other guy that needs to change.” But I can guarantee that each one of us can do a better job of communicating. Do what you can to improve your own skills and then share that with others. Get the conversation going so everyone can communicate better. Don’t worry about over communicating, that would be a really good problem to have!
Check out other videos in the Learning Resource Center, available to you as a member. Here’s to your Graceful Leadership!
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