People are a lot more focused when they are clear as to what is going on. It seems simple yet it is often overlooked. Lack of clarification and mis-information is the primary complaint from employees expressing dissatisfaction in their work place. When you reflect on your own personal experiences at work or home do you recall instances when you were not clear on the when, where, why, what of a situation? Did that lack of knowledge caused extra stress or worry? The overwhelming response to the preceding questions is yes.
Assuming the people you work with know everything you know can be dangerous. Stress rolls down hill and most managers don’t have time to express everything going on in their heads much less explain it in a way that their employees would receive it gaining the same understanding.
Where does the balance between getting your work done, bringing your team along and keeping up to date on all the company and client comings and goings come? Do you need to discuss everything? Clarify every minute detail? Would anyone even listen? Turns out you don’t have to, at least not directly, there are ways to maximize the information passed and provide a venue to employees who do need clarification.
What you need to do is establish three simple steps for communication:
- Communicate your end state. What will this project look like when it is done in the absence of any other instructions?
- Provide updates to that end state, i.e. don’t try to move the arrow, move the target.
- Conduct After Action Reviews. This is not just a summary of what the project was but an actual review of what happened and what decisions led to that conclusion. This is your time to learn.
If you can follow these three simple steps you can cut down on the conversations at the water cooler and focus more on tracking all the innovative paths people will surprise you with as they work toward getting to the goal.