Comms Fatigue Causes Chaos

Posted on Apr 30, 2020 in Communication,Conflict Resolution,Hot Topics,Latest Articles . 0 Comments.

Essential info:

  1. We’re all suffering from communication overload
  2. Give a highlights tour of what needs to be known
  3. Make it quick and clear or you’ll cause comms chaos
  4. Give the detailed reasons after that, for those who need a deeper understanding
  5. If you don’t, people will simply not hear you, work won’t be done, frustrations will escalate and workplace relationships will be trashed!

A deeper understanding

Ohhhh the irony. A blog about too much information!!! Right, acknowledged, I had to get that out of the way. You really know you are at peek comms fatigue when you accept that your 15yo says they have stopped reading emails from school as there are just too many and they are too long. I confess, I am there too.

Communication always contributes to conflict. At the current time communication fatigue is causing chaos.  So, whether you are a senior manager, front line employee, HR or really any person at all… we are responsible for receiving and disseminating vast amounts of information. Unfortunately, people have simply stopped reading. This has led to some real “stuff ups” and it has put some workplace relationships on the line.

This week I fielded a call about a Team Leader and their direct report. A Zoom screaming match had ensued between the two which was followed by a passive aggressive muting, during the daily team meeting. Why? The Team Leader had sent details about a super important meeting with a Payroll Supplier. The Team Member just felt overwhelmed with various comms and saw a full page of words, words and more words! Yes, it explained why this email was so important, but they could just not read it and the important details were buried. Let’s be honest, they were not buried, but there is just too much to absorb at that moment.

The consequence? There are going to be issues claiming Jobs Keeper payments within one section of staff. A Zoom screaming match, followed by overtly poor behaviours, an embarrassed team and a lot of work to do to try and repair this relationship. This is a current work in progress.

The Lesson?

  • Put essential information up front, simple, directive and loud. Why make people scan comms to work out what you are trying so say and what they need to do?
  • Keep it as brief as you can.
  • The deeper understanding can come after that as necessary.
Opportunities of online meetings
Reduce uncertainty, work on your conversation culture!