Pitfalls of too much or too little information

Communication is so important that some people work against it by over-communicating. Others hold communication in such regard that they shy away from it for fear of causing harm.

Yes communication is important, and during the 2014 Nonprofit Executive Summit in Santa Fe, N.M., attendees were given a cheat sheet from “Communicating for Dummies” by Marty Brounstein. Included on that cheat sheet was a list of pitfalls to avoid in workplace communications. Those pitfalls include:

  • Using emails to express concerns. Instead, go to the source to work out problems in person.
  • Talking too much in sales situations. Learn instead to understand the customer’s needs.
  • Responding to requests by immediately saying it can’t be done. Instead, emphasize what can be done and when.
  • Managers providing employees with opinionated criticism when their performance needs improvement. Instead, provide specific performance-focused feedback based on management observations.
  • Saying yes without meaning it. Instead, express concerns constructively and offer alternatives as to what will work better.
  • Sitting by quietly and passively when people discuss issues. Instead, interact with the message and provide verbal feedback to make sure everyone understands the message.
  • Dwelling on what’s wrong or who’s at fault when dealing with problem situations. Instead, focus on working out solutions with others and on how to make the situation better.