Friday, May 10, 2013

Miscommunication

Miscommunication:
The challenge of communication isn't to never miscommunicate, it's to cut down the time between the interaction and the realization that the communication didn't get through. Because the sooner we know we're not connecting, the sooner we can fix it.
Phone calls, for example, lead to less miscommunication than instructions sent by mail. A cycle of clarity is built into the medium. "Huh?" is a perfectly appropriate way to ask someone to refine a message. Conversations are more clear than marching orders, because conversations have built-in error detection and correction.
Organizations that are good at flagging the misunderstood internal messages are far more likely to move quickly, in sync, than the ones that assume that messages from on high are never to be questioned. When in doubt, ask.