Core Value: We Obsessively Over-Communicate

We obsessively over-communicate.

Each of our values needs to make us distinctive, and it needs to have behaviors that we use internally, as well as with clients and partners.

Let’s talk about one-word emails.

A one-word email to avoid: “Thanks.”

In a world of too many emails, this one-word response simply adds to the pile already crowding your inbox. What’s the purpose of this one-word email? Most people send it to be polite, because outside of email, when someone gives you something, you tell them “thank-you.” It’s just what we do. It takes a second of our time and we move on. With email, though, it ends up taking more time than just a second. You open it, close out of it, and file it away. It ends up getting added to an email to-do list, and it doesn’t really convey any necessary information back to the sender.

Another reason people send a one-word “thank-you” email is let the sender know you received their email. This makes sense, and if the sender specifically asks for a confirmation, then please do send something. If not, simply do what the email states and then let the sender know. This bring us to…

A one-word email to send: “Done.”

One of the frustrations of a manager is when a task is assigned, but then the manager wonders if the job got done or not, and when. This uncertainty takes up some mental bandwidth, because the boss is wondering what the status is, but doesn’t want to appear untrusting or micromanaging by asking about it too much. So now the mental bandwidth is taken up by two things:

  1. Wondering if the task is done.
  2. Stressing about how to look into it in the right way.

One solution is to assign reporting on the task completion in the same communication as the task assignment. One thing we do here at Group Dynamic is assign deadlines in our action-item emails, and then send a one-word email when things are done: “Done.” This takes seconds, and it keeps us from stressing and wondering. If “done” has not yet arrived, it’s not done. When “done” comes, we know it’s done.

So stop short of saying “thanks,” but do say “done.” Also, share information including progress and finished projects during your O3 and in email.

Internal behaviors that we strive for include:

  • Ask for what you want.
  • Report progress.
  • Report problems.
  • Always clarify all doubts.
  • Ask questions—of ourselves and each other, and of clients.

What our clients can expect:

  • Information is very specific
  • We report progress.
  • We ask a lot of questions.
  • We make it safe for others to ask us questions.
  • We clarify doubts and anticipate problems.

What are your teams’ expectations around communication?

Thanks for reading,

Alan Feirer

This is the third post in a 7-part series discussing the importance of having core values and what core values we at Group Dynamic hold to. Follow along as we explore the internal and extrernal impact of personal and corporate core values.

Post #1: What Group Dynamic Values
Post #2: Core Value: We are Accountable, Responsive, and Timely

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