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Redundant Communication

How often have you fallen foul of only communicating something once?

Only mentioning it in passing?

I used to think that I would be rude to repeat myself.  However, the message doesn’t always land. Learning to reiterate in different ways and say important stuff a few times has helped.

Tapping into the theme of being responsible for the understanding of others.  Where it can be our job to make sure those that we work with understand us and our intent.

I wanted to share a bit more about redundant communication. One of my favourite authors on this topic is Kim Girard and research by Tsedal Neeley, who has influenced me in this area.

A lack of direct power is common in companies today, Neeley says, because so many people work on teams that form and disband on a project-by-project basis. Kim Girrad

Those with children would recognise the value of redundant communication. It is tricky to get your kids to do anything the first time that you ask.  However, get to the 5th time, our chances are a lot better, especially with a carrot and the stick approach.

So, we know that asking multiple times works.

Some might call it nagging.

We might check the importance of a request, waiting to see if we get a reminder, or get asked again.  If I thought they were a bit nutty, I might count until three, then crack on with it.

With making requests of others, it often takes multiple attempts.  Email can be overused and unread.  Perhaps a fast track to irritation.

Different methods to email can work a treat, like SMS, phone calls, visiting them or even social media, like messaging through LinkedIn.

Along the way the individuals better appreciate the why, their role in what we want and the timing.  In our cluttered lives, maybe those that we work with may not have been 100% present when we first bring it up.  Increasingly we need to influence our audience.

Be Smart

A SMART request may be needed: Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Relevant and Time-based.  If it doesn’t meet these criteria, it can be doomed to failure.

  • Specific – do we know exactly what is asked?
  • Measurable – is it easily seen to be complete or not?
  • Assignable – who is responsible?
  • Relevant – the Why – is it important?
  • Time based – how long will it take and when is it to be ready?

Last time you were frustrated at the lack of action on something that was important to you, did you use repeated attempts and different methods to make it happen?

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Photo credit: Max Bohme on Unsplash