Due to the extreme pace and environment of my little startup-life these days, I have had a chance to recognize how much poor communication bothers me. Especially under-communication. A.K.A. the expectation that I should somehow get your drift and immediately comprehend what you are trying to communicate.

Obviously, as soon as I convinced myself this is about everyone else, I realize that, no, this is about me and what I need to work on to improve my communication.

So, I made a couple guidelines for myself:

Provide the context

Everyone else hasn’t been reading the same emails, or articles, or overhead the same conversations. So, let people in on the context of where I am coming from.

Be clear about my opinions vs. the facts

I know whether I am stating my opinion, or citing facts. (Um, usually.) But, that doesn’t mean anyone else does. Unless, I explicitly tell them.

Be clear about any questions or expectations for response

Don’t you hate rhetorical questions?

Make sure communication is directed at the appropriate channels

Reduce unnecessary duplication of information, or needing to have the same conversation multiple times.

What would you add to the list?





One response to “under-communicating”

  1. CathyKnoll Avatar

    Seems to me your points are right on target, Thomas. Others to consider:

    Make a personal connection

    If an individual message, greet the person and make a comment / ask a question about their life. And, contrary to popular social communication standards, I’m all for closing by “signing” my name at the end of a message to add a personal touch.

    Keep your high school English teacher in mind

    As mundane and burdensome as those “stupid” grammar rules seemed at the time, nothing gets a message across better than clear, concise sentence structure. p.s. If you only passed 9th grade English because of your beguiling personality, get a grammar-literate friend to edit your work 🙂

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