My One Pet Peeve – Lack of Communications

I guess one of my pet peeves that comes pretty close to the top – is the lack of communications. This can cover a lot of situations and cover a wide area. I intend to cover just a couple of these today, but I do encourage you to think about your own environment and what happens when things are unknown but acted on. Many times, it becomes a disaster in many forms.

Take for example, you buy one of those kit things that have to be put together and they claim it needs only a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Many times, it winds up being a piece of worthless junk, or something you have to modify to make things work.

The boss that says he wants this or that, but doesn’t give you much of a clue as to how to get to the end result the way he or she wants it done. The end result is obvious, but how many ways can you go wrong in getting to the end result. “Murphy’s Law” rules.

Or the employee that assumes everything – never tells the boss what is going on with the job. Mistakes just keep getting made over and over. You have to remember ONE thing – The boss is TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for what you do. He doesn’t have to be the one making the mistake to be held accountable.

Many business leaders require a “weekly status report” or some other title, but they get the same results. They require the employees to report to management as to what they are doing while on the job; what’s the progress or what’s happening. There are many different formats from oral to weekly written reports, but the end result is the same. If you don’t know how to create one, there are many examples available on the web.

Some business leaders send out weekly or monthly newsletters to customers or related business professionals. Email newsletters are very prominent. Lots of people refer to many emails as “spam” and they could fall into this category if uncontrolled. Some school systems use this system to keep the parents up on the happenings of the school activities.

People that will not keep their word is another good point. Ever been promised someone would do something – you never hear about it again?? You go and ask for details, why and what happened but it gets passed off as “no big deal, not important”. Especially those promises; even those promises to your children are extremely important.

Two-way Communication is one of the most basic functions needed to keep business problems to a minimum. Many problems can be traced back to inadequate communications about whatever is needed. A simple process of sharing ideas and thoughts, opinions and plans seems to be a “no-brainer” but the communication value seems to be pretty low in today’s information world.

It just isn’t possible to have a relationship between people or projects without commutation, but that communication must be total and have good value content. Half way communications can be dangerous in many ways – from friendship jeopardy to business failures to safety of equipment or life and limb.

AGAIN — This is so VERY IMPORTANT !!!!! Manager vs. Employee: the employee can’t do the job with poor communications coming from management. This goes both ways – the employee must feed value information up the chain as well. Written reports without continuity or accuracy are worthless.

This can be a very good motivation tool for the employee as well. It improves morale for everyone to know what’s going on. It’s a great way to avoid low morale with some people knowing things the others don’t. It increases productivity as well because it brings suggestions from the employee staff if they know the “whys” of a decision. Putting in suggestions etc. should always be in writing for constant referral. Stagnation of procedures will eventually cause trouble.

I’m not telling you anything new – just reminding you of something you are already well aware of. Wisdom = just common sense with its sleeves rolled up.