One of the most seemingly trivial but major loop holes for every publisher (or any project in any industry at that) is in the area of communication, particularly when it comes to miscommunication. The funny thing is people often attribute miscommunication to lack of communication, when in fact most people often DO communicate, but still end up misunderstanding each other. We see this everyday not just in our businesses but in our everyday lives. When it comes to business though, this is an error we cannot overlook because it can mean the difference between a failed project and a successful one.
If you find yourself boggled by the many times your instructions or simple messages often seem to go unheeded, maybe it’s time to check your methods of communicating. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are my instructions/messages clear? – Remember what may be clear to you might not be clear to others. So check your messages for any vague wording. Although we must always strive to be concise, sacrifice the message length if you need to explain something in greater detail.
- Did I check for understanding? – Do not assume that someone understood your entire message just because you took great pains to make it understandable. If your message is in the written form, encourage questions by adding the cliched but useful statement, “Feel free to contact me for any clarifications.” If you are communicating with someone verbally, as them outright if they understand what you said. Even better, ask them to repeat the important points of your instructions. You’ll be surprised at just how much different they might have understood your intent.
Taking time to communicate more effectively might feel unnatural to you and may seem a waste of time, but in the end it will help you more than you’ll ever know.
Image via JennyJoyBarrows