Managers know they're supposed to communicate, communicate, communicate. In fact, managers are often told to "over-communicate." That's great advice - in general. However, where many managers run a muck, is they confuse over-communicating with talking too much.
Over-communicating simply means you communicate the same, clear, concise message over and over again so every employee who needs to hear it and understand it - does. In fact, your employees know the message, can recite the message, and probably dream about the message because they've heard it so many times. However, as a result, there is no confusion in any one's mind what the goal is, what the standards are, what the plan is, or whatever it is you have been communicating clearly and consistently. As a result, everyone is positioned to support the same message.
Talking too much, on the other hand, is simply using too many words, in too many various ways, to try to convey your idea, plan, or goal. When you talk too much, you often:
- Overwhelm your employees with too much information
- Confuse your employees with the variety of words, styles, and messages you've shared
- Create chaos as every employee will interpret each version of your message differently and therefore pursue different objectives
- Bore your employees with all of your blah, blah, blah, so they simply tune you out
If you believe or know you need to communicate more with your employees, congratulations. That's one step towards stronger leadership. However, before you start communicating, communicating, communicating, determine clearly what it is you need your employees to hear and understand. Then determine: What is the most basic, clear way to communicate that idea to your employees to minimize confusion, as you gain their understanding and support?
It's fine to be accused of being a manager who over-communicates. When you earn that moniker, every employee knows his or her responsibilities and is better positioned to do them to support the message you've conveyed. When you're accused of being a manager who talks too much, your employees tend to sigh and tune you out as soon as they see you open your mouth. So please, stop and think before you open your mouth. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Stop the blah, blah, blah.
Copyright MMX Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.