Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stop !! Communicating with me -Exploring & Breaking Communication Myths

Whatever we are not good in,we suffer .The sufferings are because of the lack of the required knowledge or skills. Interestingly in those sufferings,we have hidden lessons.Only if we are ready to learn ,lessons will start unfolding.Communication is one of those skills which does not come so easy to many of us.At least to me,it is still work in progress.

When it comes to communication the conventional belief is that two most important factors for a effective communication is  "Clarity" and "The Right Medium" . Effectiveness and Efficiency are two aspects of  every transaction even for what is communicating.

Important is execution of what is communicated happens or not .I am sure we all communicate day in day out to our seniors,teams,peers & other stakeholders.I will like now YOU to introspect now and be honest with what you think.

Personally  I have seen many more other forces which come in play,to name a few

  • Do you have a formal or a Informal authority?
  • Are you a Line Function or a staff function?
  • Do you choose one medium or multiple medium ? (phone,email,meeting )
  • How many times you have repeated your message?(Once,Twice,Thrice)
  • How much time you give to the receiver to react to the information provided? (1 day,1 week,1 month)
  • Do you persuade or you are direct in your message?  
The one question I often used to have is when you communicate more you create inefficiency as well as  redundancy of repeating same thing again.Specially with the technology now facilitating this .e.g with emails and auto-messages,people may complain an information overload or hate the mails coming to them quite often.

As per one article in HBR (Harvard Business Review) that multiple mails on the same topic can get an executive feel frustrated but at the same time it helps the sender get the task prioritized.Its important as the executives are facing the challenges of inadequate time available and they being pulled up in multiple directions.This is interesting as we are creating a new problem to solve an existing problem.

Communication preferences mattered as well.The studies highlight that managers with formal authority had started little later as they must have thought that their power motivates other to listen to them and get the job done.Managers without power understood that there first message should be able to motivate people.They did the opposite.They send an instant message and later keep on reinforcing the message by sending multiple reminders to make sure that  the message remains among their priorities.So redundancy works with their case.The job was done faster with less hiccups.Also they used Persuasion as a technique rather then a direct message.

Two decades is a long time at work.I have developed many new habits now.Communicating repeatedly is one of them .Behavior spreads now to my family as much as it goes with my friends.Even I do not spare my "to be " clients .The focus is on persuading them.

Am I waiting for the time when they yell at me -Stop !! Communicating with me....

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