It has caused countries to go to war and marriages to resemble wars. Breaking up teams, bands, and relationships, a lack of proper communicating destroys organizations without discrimination.
Communication problems create a minefield of assumptions sure to blast any team, especially one with new leadership. When you fail to communicate, be ready for some explosions from these
Communication Land Mines:
“He thought I was going to do it, and I thought He was going to do it.” Those words often come right before your stomach sinks and you realize, your work will now be done late at best. Along with, “I didn’t realize that was my job.” Before tearing into this person, ask yourself how they should have known. Avoid disappointment by clearly delegating responsibilities.
Few things can be more frustrating than having poured hours into a project only to hear the words, “Oh, that’s not what I meant.” Ask questions to confirm that you are on the same page.
It may be within your power to assign a task, but that will not make a bit of difference if they do not know how to do it. Help your team save face by saying, “If you need to be shown how to do any of this or have questions along the way, just ask.” You are helping them and yourself by doing this!
In my estimation, this might be the most overlooked of all assumptions. Does the person have the finances, tools, materials, etc. to complete the job at hand or the authorization to acquire them? Sometimes projects can be stymied systemically. Make sure they have what they need or have the knowledge and ability to retrieve it.
“You don’t get what you expect, but what you inspect.” Sad, but true. If the first time you check in on a project is the due date, you may find a lot of disappointments. Until a reputation has been established, keep team members accountable while taking care not to micro-manage.
When things go wrong, ask questions. You might think you know why. You might even be right. You might also be wrong. Avoid compounding a bad situation by getting the facts.
Do you find yourself dodging the depth charges at work? What other explosions have you seen caused by downed communication? Share number 7 with us!