Communication in business in general is very important. We’re always looking for people that are articulate when hiring. “Good verbal and written communication”. It’s great when you find new people that are excellent at explaining processes, what they’re doing, what they need done, etc. The problem comes in when the built-in foundations of the company are *not* good communicators.
How about a “for instance”. Sure. I recently was told of a conversation between a couple of managers:
person 1: “So should I tell them about this whole thing?”
person 2: “No, they know about it.”
later in the conversation, about something different….
person 2: “They said they didn’t know anything about x. I mean, how can you not fucking know about that?”
These were work-related things being discussed. I see the potential issue here, can you?
Assuming people know things almost NEVER WORKS OUT. Sometimes I miss getting memos…
I know that some people don’t like to deal with email, and would rather speak in-person. However, if you’re working remotely, don’t sign in to the company chat server, etc. you should probably at least reply to emails. A friend recently let me know that at his company, an email to a certain manager is generally accepted to take 3-5 days for a reply, and if one isn’t received in that time, to try again or catch her in the office.
These are often the people, I find, that don’t want their words on record. Having spoken it, you can later say “No, I said that Bill is the lead guy now, not Ted”. If it’s in email, there’s a record that Ted is, in fact, now the lead guy.
Some people tend towards a bit less clear communication than others. Talking to them is like pulling teeth, or talking to a brick wall, or pulling teeth from a brick wall. One person I know is like this, and it can be a horrible experience talking with him.
A simple example conversation with this type of communicator:
person a: “Hey, did you get a chance to install that VM I asked for?”
this is dog: “Yeah…”
person a, pause making them wary: “So, uh, did everything go ok then?”
this is dog: “Oh the OS install went fine…”
person a, again with the pause: “Ok, so what about everything else I asked for?”
this is dog: “Well, the OS install crashed in the middle and I was doing a disk check…”
person a: “But you just said the OS install went fine? Did it go ok or not?”
this is dog: “Uh yeah…. no.”
This isn’t far from a real example, sadly…
Those Who Refuse To Read
There are many people I encounter that just don’t like to read. You don’t like books, whatever, that’s cool for you. Not for me, but whatever floats your boat.
The ones I have a problem with are those that refuse to read emails, or defect reports, or service requests, or whatever it is they get their assignments from. If I send an email to a small group of people because all aren’t currently available for a meeting and, ya know, I like to get things in writing usually, I expect it to be read. I know this is a lot to ask. Especially if I announce verbally “Hey guys, I’m going to send an email with the instructions for this project”, get visual feedback from everyone that they heard me, and you’re asked much later how you’re doing on said project and you say you *know nothing about it*.
The best part, and bear with me cuz this is truth, is when certain people that do this claim on their performance reviews that they learn better from spoken instructions than written ones (it’s a learning disorder!), and so they don’t read emails. It just so happens that they also don’t listen when given verbal instructions. Perhaps it switches day to day?
And perhaps the ones that don’t answer emails are also those that don’t read them. I do recall several instances with a manager that wouldn’t answer emails, several concerning a huge issue, and then that manager later claimed no knowledge of those huge issues (which were email conversations among several people).
IDK, just my two cents. I’m not always the best communicator, but I also don’t expect psychics on my team…