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The Straight Poop on Communication

Sometimes the junior high boy in me can't help it.  I see something, and it just makes me giggle.

A few weeks ago, The Des Moines Register ran a "You should get to know" series. Unfortunately, they ran it adjacent to the continuation of an article from the first page about manure run-off environmental issues. They are two completely unrelated stories, but put them together and ... well... oops.

Sometimes we run into that issue when we're branding our communication. We send an email to one person, and we forget that we just sent an email to somebody else that provides a conflicting view. We tell everybody they need to work hard on the project, only to have executives send out a message that layoffs will occur once efficiencies (i.e., your project) are put in place.

When we communicate a message, we need to take the time to look at the other messages going on around it. What have we communicated in the past? What we will we communicate in the coming days? What are others communicating around us? Who is sending supporting messages adjacent to ours? Who is providing messages that detract from ours?

Sound like simple questions, right? Probably more complex of a challenge than we think. If we were truly the center of the universe, any other message wouldn't matter.

So before you hit "send" on that message, ask yourself what "manure" might be next door stinking up your communication.


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