Over-Communicating and Under-Communicating

July 31, 2015Comments Off on Over-Communicating and Under-Communicating

Going back to yesterday.

Once the relevant health authority issued a health advisory not to drink the water, people began to wonder over the next two days if it’s still in place.

Was it only for one area? Was it for 24 hours or 48 hours? Was it indefinite? Will people be told when the advisory is rescinded?

This is a problem when communicating with any social group during a difficult moment. The less you communicate the more you leave open to interpretation.

It would have been better to update every hour that nothing has changed. There’s no room for ambiguity there. Everyone knows when to expect the next update and where to go to find out if the warning is still in place. Everyone knows if the warning is still in place.

It’s really easy to under-communicate with your group. It’s very hard to over-communicate with your social group.

Have a very open communication policy. Offer a direct line to you. Create a place where people can get near-instant responses on topical issues. Issue constant updates on important issues even if nothing has changed. Your social group hates uncertainty. Don’t create any.

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