Who Else Needs To Know?
“Why didn’t you tell me?” is the exasperated cry of someone who is affected by information you possessed but failed to pass on to them ~ usually to their cost.
It could be a client, a colleague, a supplier, or family or friend. It includes failing to communicate all the facts, it includes failing to advise or acknowledge a canceled or postponed meeting, it includes failing to communicate you are running late for a pre-arranged rendezvous, it includes failing to communicate a delayed delivery and failing to pass-along someone else’s message.
The result is high emotions through perceived loss of face, time or money. Perpetual failure to communicate what others need to know can lead to loss of promotion or position within an organization. It inevitably contributes to loss of trading reputation and is one of THE Top-5 Common Failings in Business [email firstname.lastname@example.org ].to explore the remaining four]
Not Passing Along Information vs Mis-information
Failing to share information is not the same as misinformation!
Though human error can occur from time-to-time, deliberate misinformation is the willful attempt to misdirect someone causing physical, financial or emotional hardship.
Not passing along information, on the other hand, is invariably due to thoughtlessness and whilst frustrating and annoying, is usually not intentional. Failing to communicate mutually beneficial information tends to be a by-product of self-absorption; meaning you are so centered on what you are doing, you ignore the needs, feelings or actions of others affected by the good or not-so-good information now in your possession.
So, I offer the simple battle-cry: “Who Else Needs To Know?”
This practical code is something to live by each time new information comes into your possession. Developing this battle-cry increases your dependability and learning to keep people in the loop raises their favourable perception of your value to them in almost everything you do. The contrary is true if you do not develop the habit!
Early transmission of relevant information is accomplished through any of the smart technologies, but most importantly through email. Notice I mention technologies ahead of word-of-mouth. Of course, you must verbally pass along mutually beneficial information as soon as possible, but leaving it as a voice-mail or conversation alone can backfire if the other person fails to take action using the excuse, “Why didn’t you tell me?”
In-A-Nutshell ~ 5 Simple Steps
- Request all verbal communications of consequence are confirmed by email by the originator ~ even snail-mail if appropriate
- Forward copy of the original email to everyone affected by the communication, (if not already actioned by the originator) requesting confirmation of receipt. NB: Cut ’n’ Paste mutually beneficial content from the original email into your email omitting anything that was For-Your-Eyes-Only
- Include a response-date in your email, diarising a 72-hr chase for those who didn't respond
- Diarise your own tasks to be completed ~ setting yourself an assignment finishing date ~ communicating what you are doing/will be done via email to all involved
- Copy the originator (if not you) with all your cascading communications keeping them apprised of every key step forward to final completion
To discuss this code in practice and the other four Top Business Failings, email email@example.com