April 3, 2014

The Worst Kind of Miscommunication

Miscommunication, how I loathe thee. Let me count the ways!

Miscommunication fractures relationships.

Miscommunication deflates culture.

Miscommunication kills momentum.

Miscommunication breeds mediocrity.

Miscommunication compromises standards and settles for less.

The list goes on. The reasons are countless. The verdict remains.

I HATE miscommunication.

And there's one kind of miscommunication I hate more than any other. There's one type of miscommunication that makes me lose sleep, grit my teeth, and can even raise my blood pressure. The kind of miscommunication that turns my stomach and chaps my hide more than any other is...


When I realize I haven't communicated effectively...

When I realize I haven't communicated thoroughly...

When I realize I have left expectations floating out in the wind...

When I realize I haven't reiterated enough...

When I realize I have miscommunicated...it frustrates me to the core. But then I have a choice to make. You can either allow your miscommunication to paralyze you OR you can allow it to motivate you.

When you allow it to paralyze you, you allow yourself to begin thinking of all the other people or circumstances to blame for it. When you let it cripple you, you become consumed with how to cover it up rather than expose it so that it doesn't happen again. When you let it consume you, you're actually making a choice to continue miscommunicating. You're saying, "My failure defines me."

But when you let it motivate you, you take steps to correct it. You refuse to not come up with a plan to defeat it at all costs moving forward. When you let it motivate you, it also reminds you to graciously prepare for the inevitable times when someone will miscommunicate with you. They have. They will. How will you respond to it?

So, do you have a plan to defeat it at all costs moving forward? That plan could sound something like:

  • Ask the person to repeat back to me what I told them
  • Send a follow up email to make sure expectations are clear
  • Personally call each person and ask them if they have any questions
  • Invite each member of the group to provide me with feedback
Will you join me in the battle of bringing down miscommunication?

Will you do the work of reiterating, following up, and following through?

What one thing can you do right now to better communicate?

Let's graciously help each other out with this.

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