Is communication an afterthought?

Photo courtesy of Paul Shanks (Creative Commons)

Photo courtesy of Paul Shanks (Creative Commons)

Communication is such a critical piece of everything we do, and yet for many, it is a missed step, or a quick add on at the end of a project.

In reality, good communication should be the first step in everything we do, especially in situations where changes are being made.

Without communicating clearly to everyone involved, rumors, hurt feelings, and miscommunication result, which then complicate and possibly damage a potentially successful project or situation.

Most often, the “why” is the overlooked piece of information – why are we making this change? Why must we do things this way?

People are so frightened of change and resistant to doing things a new way, but often if they understand why the old way doesn’t work, they are perfectly happy to adopt a new routine. The potential good just needs to be pointed out for people to get onboard. And it needs to be pointed out early instead of as an “oh by the way.”

We cannot just assume everyone knows because a few do, and we cannot just hope that word gets out. I’ve been involved in several situations lately that would have been so much easier had the facts been shared earlier. I felt like I was spinning my wheels in the mud for a bit until I got the traction of better information.

In fact, one situation had to be completely rethought once the information was shared with those involved – that was a lot of wasted time.

Next time you are planning a big project, make communication the major piece of it and I bet it will go more smoothly.