By Shefa Ali
This week I have been overwhelmed with excessive communication, in specific on Whatsapp, to the point where I felt my neurological pathways were being affected. Most people think communication is everything, to a large extent that is true, but over communication can be dangerous.
Think all of the ways a person, a group, an organisation or a household can communicate information; social media, emails and telephone calls just to name a few.
How often do people communicate a message to a large group when the message may only apply to a few people in the group or organisation?
For instance, let’s say that you have a small weekly meeting, one person cannot attend because they are sick but they send a message or email to the whole group. Everyone receives a ping on their phone or an email alert. Then each person in the group or the CC offers their best wishes to the person who is sick, CCing everyone else in the group. Before you know it 35 alerts have gone off. When instead the person could have informed one member of the group, who could have passed this information on during the meeting, if the other members wanted to, they could have in their own time offered their wishes to the sick member of the group privately, so not to disturb everyone else.
Over communication can mean messages get lost in the noise. Imagine a radio booming, the TV blaring, a baby crying, the phone ringing, the traffic passing by on the road outside, all while trying to hold a conversation with your friend or spouse. Would you be able to filter out what they are trying to tell you through all the noise?
When every single person is included in multiple communication mediums, the messages that we need people to hear cannot be heard through the irrelevant noise.
Over communication can lead to loss of credibility to the over communicator and even worse, people’s attention.
If one is continually over sharing messages across all mediums that do not pertain to a majority of the group, they risk losing their credibility. It’s important to segment communication by creating messages that are targeted and relevant to the audience. If you broadcast to everyone, you are generally broadcasting to no one.
It is important to have set procedures on how your group, your home or your organisation decides to communicate information, especially if it involves action to be taken. A communication plan will allow your messages to be heard and will set a precedence that your group or staff can follow.
* The author is a consultant and coach. Instagram handle: @miss_shefa, Website: missshefa.com
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