Have you ever heard the saying there is no such thing as over-communication? In today’s workplace many of us would say otherwise. I’ve been to a few back-to-back meetings that conveyed little or no information, been copied on hundreds of unnecessary long-winded emails, listened to voicemail messages that went on forever. It all starts to look like the picture above – hard to follow and a message lost.
Communication is out of control – and it is taking the productivity out of an already overwhelmed and under-resourced workforce.
Business success and organizational effectiveness depend on communication of course; but poor and ineffective communication it does not. Poor communication is partly the result of ineffective communication skills, but it is also caused by being in too much of a hurry to communicate clearly.
What does the paragraph above say?
“I love mine. It allows me to wake up refreshed every evening thereby enabling me to me be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the night shift. The metallic retro design really goes with my cottage and I really like the squeaky springs and the new mattress just complements the whole package.”
Not much clearer, is it? What are they taking about? The answer is – their bed. What were they trying to say? The answer – They really like their bed. Who knew!
So, what can you do to ensure you are communicating effectively and not overloading your employees with the fog above? Simplify.
- Get rid of the jargon and focus on the basics (“I really like my bed”).
- Break down complex issues into easy parts.
- Short, simply worded sentences achieve better results than long, complex ones.
- Keep it H.O.T. (Honest, open and two-way)
“Simple messages travel faster, simpler designs reach the market faster and the elimination of clutter allows faster decision-making.” – Jack Welch
Simple, direct language keeps people tuned in to what’s important. Simple communication doesn’t come from a simple mind. It comes from tough-minded clarity of thought. The best managers take responsibility for getting through to all employees, so just remember, keep it simple.