Question, is it possible to over communicate? How often have you used the phrase, “too much information?” In today’s fast pace work environment getting the information is necessary, but making sure that you get the right information is extremely important.

Comprehending this is more important than one might believe. Think about from the prospect of Goldilocks, she wasn’t satisfied until she had it “just right.” Too much information can delay in getting a decision or cause confusion to a point that people make the wrong decision

Here are some suggestions to help with gauging your “just right” communication quotient:

  • Know your message and stay focused. Don’t answer questions that are off topic and will take you in a different direction.
  • You only have a few seconds to determine the relevancy and intent of the question, but if you know your message, you can do this quickly and stay on message.
  • Determine if you’re being asked a question, or being asked to listen to a statement.
  • If the question morphs into a statement, politely stop the questioner and ask “do you have question and can you state it.” When doing this never be condescending, but let the questioner know you interrupted because of time and others also want to ask questions.
  • Know what information you can and can’t share, and never go beyond what you can share.
  • Control your desire to demonstrate your subject matter expertise when answering questions.
  • Learn to recognize when someone is baiting you, just to get you off topic.

One of the most common complaints employees have is about the lack of communication in their organization. I’ve come across this numerous times when working with clients. People would tell me that their managers wouldn’t communicate with them. However, when investigating, I invariably would find that wasn’t the problem, the problem was too much communication. The communication in fact was fine, they were just getting the wrong stuff and way to much of it, causing confusion and frustration resulting in them saying management wasn’t communicating to them.

To answer my own question, yes it’s possible to over communicate the real question is how do you know when you have “just right” communication? Well, that’s next month’s blog.

© Timothy A. Wilson 2012. All Rights Reserved