Communication Breakdowns

Here in St. Louis, since the Cardinals went on to win the 2011 World Series, we can look back and chuckle at the relief pitcher kerfuffle in game 5. I referenced that event in an October blog post titled “Making Sure Your Message Is Understood.”

But what about situations where the message does not connect because it was never transmitted? You have likely experienced episodes like these that have occurred in my life/career.

#1. Small organization. 15 employees. On a Monday morning, I show up with much to share at our weekly organizational meeting. Sorry, no meeting today. The big guy is away on business. Did this just come up? No, it was planned last week—I thought everybody knew. Nope, I did not get the memo, because there wasn’t one. Communicate!

#2. Medium sized organization. 60 employees. I come to work one morning, check my email, then scan an online industry news website where I learn that a mid-level manager in our building has “exited.” I hope his direct reports were notified because many other employees only learned about his departure through the grapevine. Some bosses don’t like to share bad tidings, but this is stuff everybody needs to know. Communicate!

#3. A non-profit commissions a website redesign. When the new site goes live, it has a different URL. But the PR & Marketing committee members learn of the new URL only when they log on to the old site. Yes, the old URL takes you directly to the new one, but media pitches list the old one. Could this cause the PR & Marketing team to appear uninformed? Absolutely. Communicate!

#4. An former co-worker calls and invites me to lunch. Meet me at (a certain bar and grill) because my company has scrip we can use there. I show up at the place (just a couple of miles from his office) at the appointed time. After 20 minutes of waiting, I call my friend. He’s at the bar and grill’s other location, 10 miles away! Communicate!

Is there something important that the people you work with need to know about today? This week? Communicate!











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