Explicit and direct communication not only alleviates potential frustration and misunderstanding, but it also saves organizations massive amounts of time.
The problem is, we’re too busy empowering each other. We’re too focused on tap dancing around the issues to spare people’s feelings.
It reminds me of a review from an employee who was working at a healthcare organization. Her advice to management was as follows.
Stop with the meetings. All you do is talk, talk, talk. Just tell employees what you want. You don’t actually care what we have to say, so let’s just get on with the work.
It’s cynical and disengaged, but this employee makes a good point.
Why do we always have to bullshit each other? Can’t we just be clear and upfront with our expectations and needs?
Otherwise communicating starts to feel like designing a new piece of software without requirements. It’s like our kindergarten teachers remind us.
Use your words. Early and often.
Instead of hoping people read your mind and recommend the decision you’ve already decided on, just tell them what you want.
Instead of waiting for people to give the wrong answer and then forcing then to change their minds, just tell them what you want.
Instead of hoping that people read the air and figure out what you want them to do, just tell them what you want.
Instead of engaging in a pointless, expensive and time consuming game of insipid guesswork, just tell people what you want.
Homer actually said it best right before taking his remedial science exam.
Alright brain, you don’t like me and I don’t like you, but let’s just get through this and I can get back to killing you with beer.
Enough with all of the implicit, subtle suggestions.
Assume you are going to be misunderstood and just tell people what you want.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you still angry at people because they didn’t realize something you thought?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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