Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Effective Communication: Crying Wolf

Have you ever noticed that when you are talking with someone about a problem, you both have a different idea about what is happening? Well, let me tell you something, you're not alone! There are so many people in the world, there is bound to be confusion.

Within a business, you need to understand something: Keep it simple! I have just learned this and I am hoping to keep my head down and do it the right way. When you speak with people, only give them the information that they need. If you give someone TOO much information, they will DEFINITELY be overwhelmed and as a result, the classic "Crying Wolf" syndrome will come.

I have experienced this MANY times being in the tech sector. I have seen an engineer explain something, that to him was VERY simple and didn't mean anything, to an executive and then watch as the executive ran around with his head cut off! (Figuratively speaking of course.) The difference is in the perception and description of the problem.

When you speak to an Executive keep the following in mind:
1. Never use descriptive words that involve disastrous results i.e.
"Catastrophic", "Blew Up" , "Doesn't Work", "My plutonium 235 space module is missing!"
2. Always keep things short and precise
3. Never assume that they don't know what you are talking about. They probably don't but you never know.
4. Remember, they sign your pay check, so speak with respect to and about them always.

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