Overcommunicate to prevent problems, right?

Overcommunication is used with specific information to keep the team focus and aligned

I once had a conversation with a seasoned manager who proudly explained different ways his company uses to prevent problems.  One of them strikes my attention and curiosity.  He claimed that they overcommunicate to make sure things go as planned. 

What overcommunication means?

When I asked what he means by overcommunication, his explanation left me worried.  For instance, his definition was indeed what it is not.  Dumping all kinds of information through countless emails, oversharing, or repeating instructions while checking performance is not the right way to do it.  

First, over-communication is not a way to share all kinds of things.  It is used only to clarify and reinforcing critical information.  For example, to convey instructions or concerns during crisis times, top priorities, and the company vision.  Second, it is about communicating the right things effectively.  In other words, in a clear, consistent way, promoting collaboration between teams.  By sharing the right things frequently, you ensure alignment between the company vision and the daily operations.

Overcommunicate prevent problems, right?

When you over-communicate in the right way, it is possible to prevent problems.  However, when what you are doing is oversharing or micromanaging, the results are different.  The team can feel distracted by too much information, overwhelmed, or frustrated.  And they have all the right to feel that way because that behavior is disrespectful.  The team will respond much better if you convey the information effectively.  If you want them to remember the company’s core values and vision, become a model of those behaviors.  Also, incorporate the enterprise vision in what you do and become a coach.

Communicate right, do not overcommunicate

Excessive communication is not the right way to prevent problems.  Effective communication is the right way to ensure everybody receives and understands the same message.  When you disseminate critical information frequently enough, people will know that it is meaningful.  Over time, they will start to use it, and the result is alignment between values and daily actions such as problem-solving, project selection, and others.

Start with why while breaking the news

While launching a new project or initiative. always start explaining why you want to do it.

When a company is launching something new, it is common to have the CEO or the owner breaking the news.  Sometimes, the enthusiasm and clarity of the information given are not enough to guarantee success. People need to know why before committing to do something.

To get support, start with why

Sometimes it is not easy to understand the reasons for a change.  However, knowing what inspired it helps to get that understanding.  For the leader, that inspiration comes from a vision of the future.  That vision stems from a belief that it is possible to reach an unreachable limit or carry out that impossible idea.  The strong desire to make that vision a reality is his or her why.  

That inspiration comes from the heart, from their values and beliefs.  People connect through common feelings, ideas, and values.  For that reason, explaining why you want to do that is the best way to get support.

Explain why to achieve your vision success 

I learned about the power of starting with why from Simon Sinek in his book Start with Why.  He explained the human need to belong and the connection between that and the success of some companies.  Sinek defines why as a purpose, cause, or belief, the reason for the organization to exist.  Also, he explains that when a company communicates their why, and we believe in the same thing, we include their products or services in our lives.  We do that because they symbolize values or beliefs we share with them.  

It works also with any initiative or project

Using Sinek’s book as inspiration, I incorporated my purpose or vision as part of a new initiative or project launching.  Our team needs to know why we are doing what we are doing.  They need to learn or recognize the connection between the company values and the purpose of the new project.

Getting support for the new project or program is easier when team members can see how their work influences it.  In other words, how they can contribute to the company’s vision.  If your team believes in the company values, they will believe in that vision and will contribute to it.

The why of the project is the purpose for that project or initiative to exist.  What customers’ pain points the project address.  Explain the why simply so it is easier for your team to relate.  Once they understand the vision and see how it marries the company values and beliefs, they will commit.

The purpose or why is the true north.  It becomes the compass that will guide you and your team throughout the execution of the project.  Having this guidance during the entire journey will keep everybody focused on the end goal.  Also, it will ensure alignment with the company’s purpose or reason to exist.