Communication Overload

Well, I’ve had a FUN weekend – NOT!  I had a major computer crash (my data was all backed up) and I have had to restore all of my programs.  This gave me lots of time to catch up on some reading while waiting for the programs to load.

OK – back to the subject of this post – How do we cope with the vast amount of information that comes our way on a regular basis?

The December 2006 issue of The Motivational Manager has an interesting article on this subject.  They cite a survey of senior executives and managers conducted by NFI Research that found:

80% said that they receive too much communication from both internal and external sources

33% said that they receive significantly too much communication

As with any survey there are several caveats.  Managers and executives at mid-sized companies were the most impacted – 46% – by over-communication.  Which, I suppose makes sense.  If you are a large corporation, supposedly you have “gate-keepers” to filter most of the communication directed to you.

The most telling point of the survey was a comment from one respondent:

“It’s not a question of how many e-mails, voice mails, memos, and such, or even the frequency – it’s the inability of the communicator to get to the point.  Over-communication is the difference between what I need to know and what I have to filter.”

Amen to that!  Bring back the “good old days” of the Television series Dragnet when Sgt. Friday said, “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

Here are some salient points to consider when writing your next email (I found this in the same issue of The Motivational Manager  – actually there are adapted from an article that is on the Microsoft Small Business Center website – click here for the article)

1) In your e-mail, get quickly to the point – this starts with a meaningful Subject Line.

2) Try to limit the body of your e-mail so that the message will appear (in its entirety) on one screen

3) Close your email by succinctly stating what needs to happen next

Great advice!  And not just for email – this pertains to all forms of communication (marketing messages, presentations, sales calls, even talking with friends and clients.)

No one has time to “filter out” the excess in a message.  So stop sending “CYA” e-mails!  Don’t include your entire address book in the CC portion of your e-mail.  And, if the issue is really important, put down your mouse and go talk to the people involved “face-to-face” – if you remember how to do that!

And now — back to my software installation.  Thank you for listening!

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