As a project manager, we are told, trained, tested, and tried on the presumption that 99% of our job is communication. My customers are two global customers. Therefore, communication is warranted in all sorts of ways throughout a given day. I desire to fuel and motivate focused activity in a particular direction. However, is there ever such a thing as overcommunicating?
In your daily life, you are communicating via various forms (phone, email, personal contact) to provide information. You are performing physical activity to demonstrate priority and focus on said activity. At that point, you may not have said a word, but did you communicate? If you speak while you work while training a son or daughter on some aspect of their chores or family activity, is that overcommunication?
In my own mind, the answer is a resounding no! Instead, I would suggest the following ways that we should lead in our spheres of life:
1) Carefully craft the content of our message (in deed, word, or picture). In that endeavor, make sure that your content is appropriate and helpful to those to who you are communicating to.
2) Use the proper media for the corresponding recipients and environments. Some people learn and respond to information differently.
3) Be sensitive to the timing of your message. I am still learning this skill with my wife. I like to think that I am getting better at it.
4) Once, you have communicated your message. Let there be a sense of white space or pause so that priority and weight of the message are understood and received. Sometimes that does mean that we need to be quiet. Other times, it means that we lay off the email and pick up the phone a few days later to work through some tough situations.
5) Allow your intended target to respond in a meaningful course of time and space. Don’t interrupt and don’t try to anticipate their specific response in the conversation unless it is truly necessary. I am not suggesting that active listening is not in order. In fact, I would consider listening some form of active communication though you may never say a word.
Therefore, as you move to the next blog or conversation or email, please consider that you are always communicating. Implement these ideas so that you can add value to those people around you in that communication of ideas, principles, and care.
Remember, you are changing someone’s world just by your presence in it!