The Swear Jar Podcast: Over Communicating is Really Stupid

Episode Summary

Are you unintentionally barfing information at your employees? If you are, you’re not alone. You see, providing your employees with emails, posters, conference calls, social media, texts, surveys, town hall meetings, etc. — although well-intentioned — can create just too much darn noise. The result: your over communicating can confuse employees or potentially alienate them.

So, why do we give into our impulses to over communicate? Well, we assume more is better.  And, what happens when this pattern is replicated time and time again? Well, since it’s unfair to expect employees to process an avalanche of information, they do what we all do: start becoming selective. Employees decide what to listen to, who to listen and what sources are to be ignored. Ironically, companies that over communicate find themselves with well-entrenched rumor mills. 

To avoid the negative implications caused by over communicating, take a deep breath and focus on how we want our employees to behave. Then, consider what information, motivation and support they need in order to be able to behave this way. 

Key Topics

  • What we mean by Over Communicating (0:38)
  • Why we Over Communicate (4:01)
  • The implications of Over Communicating (11:25)
  • How to avoid Over Communicating (16:05)
  • Summary (33:01)

Evaluating Communications Checklist

  • Is the communication piece/activity aligned with what matters?
  • Is communication piece/activity relevant or merely interesting?
  • If we don’t use the communication piece/activity, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
  • Is the communication piece/activity adding any clarity? Or just raising a bunch of unanswerable questions?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • Are they emotionally/cognitively able to process information?
  • How are you going to measure success?

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