How Leaders Can Avoid Overcommunicating (and Why They Should)

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To say that communication is important in an organization is an understatement. Whether it’s setting goals, being on the same page and having the same vision, or executing strategies, a leader’s ability to communicate can either propel a company to higher heights or let it crumble and burn.

The art of communication is a high-flying act to be mastered. A leader needs both skill and confidence to verbally convey what needs to be done most effectively and, more importantly, effectively. Whether it’s your staff or your customers, the internal and external facets require the same degree of affirmation and conviction.

Some leaders tend to under-communicate. Whether it’s forgetting important information here and there or missing sections in an email, poor communication skills are far more common than you might think. But not with strong, effective leaders – they know the ropes of every program they present from A to Z. Simply put, missing a shot is not an option. Excellent communicators cover all touchpoints.

Related: When Overcommunication Can Do More Harm Than Good

But there is one critical misjudgment that most leaders are guilty of: over-communication. More often than not, over-communication is simply over-compensation for under-communication. Useless repetitions with tedious, endless round trips table tennis not only do the talks take time, but they also complicate things that might have been short and simple to begin with.

Naturally, leaders want to make sure their message gets across. There’s nothing worse than seeing your vision get lost in translation during the delivery process. But if you find yourself on the verge of over-communicating, consider these important points:

Learn the difference between reiteration and redundancy

The golden rule of communication in a professional setting is once is enough. If you explicitly state an instruction, goal, deadline, or expectation clearly and precisely, there is no need to repeat it over and over again. Strong leaders have confidence that they command authority when they speak, and it’s just a matter of trusting your subordinates and clients that your point has crossed.

Trust is a fundamental part of communication because it means that you are heard and understood. You can not work with Or works for people you don’t trust. It is the cornerstone of any strong working relationship.

Of course, there are cases where you will need to emphasize the importance. Whether it’s a critical deal, a serious task, or an urgent deadline, it’s okay to reiterate an instruction. But only do this once – trust your colleagues that they will fulfill the end of their contract.

Put everything in black and white

One of the most common reasons for endless back and forth is lack of documentation. Be sure to put everything in black and white: from meeting minutes, detailed emails, to deleted WhatsApp messages. Thanks to this, you will not need to repeat yourself over and over again. If anyone has missed or forgotten specific information, they should refer to the text exchanges for clarification. In fact, there is no need to reach you verbally – they just need to browse the chat history and track the replies. This will both save you time and ensure practical accuracy.

Related: 9 Best Practices to Improve Your Communication Skills and Become a More Effective Leader

Focus on walking, not talking

More often than not, you just need to let the work speak for itself. This is especially important when working with clients who seek urgency, assurance and transparency. There are instances where they might micromanage you with the things they want to achieve, putting you in an overcommunication trap that yields nothing but unnecessary complexities. In these cases, just focus on what satisfies them: positive results. Work hard to deliver results that measure up. Once you’ve presented these results, the back-and-forth network eventually dwindles, setting a tone of trust between the two parties in future endeavors.

Too much communication is just as ineffective as its lack. It doesn’t do your customers, your team members, and most importantly, yourself any good. There is no value in endless, tedious, repetitive cycles. Strictly focus on the work and let the nonsense go.

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