The Over Communicator…
I have always labeled myself as an “Over communicator”; meaning someone who says more than they need to, and at times when communicating isn’t always required. I know I do this in personal relationships as well as professional work related situations. However, there are also so many times that I end up being very happy I communicated because it actually saved some bad things from happening (in both personal and professional circumstances.
Stereotypically women tend to talk more, communicate more, and share more of their feelings.. Men tend to make basic simplistic statements and leave a lot to the imagination (again in both work and home situations). This is definitely true in MY home with my husband. I am constantly communicating and trying to make sure he knows and understands what I am doing and why, while he says about 2 words to my 10 ( on the average).
At work, I always want to make sure I check and double-check everything so that mistakes are not made.
So how much communication is too much? And how do we know when we should or shouldn’t say what we need to say? I know there is no exact answer to those questions but I want to share some experiences I have had to help support my idea that “over communication “- isn’t always a bad thing..
In my career, communication is VERY important (written and verbal). I have to communicate clearly to venders for my catering often with people who do not speak English. I also have to communicate with my clients (ensuring I understand their needs and wants), my crew (for good CRM), and dispatch ( for the obvious reasons like knowing when to show up for work, how many passengers I will have, and places I will be going – just to name a few. All of this communication has variables and details that change all the time. The only way to ensure you stay on top of everything is through constant and clear communication-That is not just my opinion, it’s a fact. We can only hope that everyone we are working with share the same philosophy, but in reality, that’s not the case.
On a recent trip, my “over communication actually saved a major mishap:
The travel itinerary that we were working with had to go through 3 different channels before reaching the crew. IE. A client approves sends to the broker the broker sends to dispatch then dispatch send it to the crew. Remember the telephone game you played as a kid? It Showed how much a story can change from the first person to the last. Well, In the game of real life this can also happen if people aren’t careful- even with written communication! In this specific situation “someone “ dropped the ball, and we (the crew), received the wrong itinerary for our passengers! We found out because of me and my “over communication” ! I just so happened to send a check up text on some other details of the trip to a member of the client group and had referred to the itinerary. The message I sent was indeed more information than someone else would have thought to send, however, in this situation if I had not sent that message, I would never have know that we had the itinerary completely wrong so bad in fact that we would have shown up for a departure on the wrong day! Of course no one thanked me for this save or acknowledged the issue.. But at least it was corrected.
I will also add that it is frustrating for an over communicator to deal with under communicators. I always think there has to be a middle ground between the two. In this particular work situation, had the whole team been double checking on things – the issue would not have occurred. I am sure the “under communicators” didn’t think it was necessary to follow-up and double-check schedules, Or maybe they were multitasking beyond their capabilities. In my opinion- the work place NEEDS “ over communication” to ensure less probability of a mistake.
I am sure I have also annoyed those that do not communicate as much. They probably think- oh, no why is she calling this time? Honestly, I don’t call to chit-chat, it is always about something I feel the need to follow-up on. That’s just me….
As I mentioned above, my husband and I are polar opposite when it comes to communication. I talk and explain all the time. And he says about 5 words per day… on the average. Sometimes I find this frustrating and sometimes I enjoy the peace and quiet. When things need to “get done” we are pretty good at splitting up the duties without needing the check and balances but sometimes our miscommunication makes things fall through the cracks..
When I leave on my trips my husband holds down the fort. He takes care of the pets, the house, bills, and mom (who is currently living with us). It’s a lot for him so I try to make arrangements for him to have help, as well as doing as much as I can before I leave.. However, he has this habit of saying he will do things and then forgetting to do them.. **Any wives out there relate to this? So, in order to make sure things are done I do the “wife thing” by reminding him a zillion times. Recently, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and not remind him to call the dog walker, and I didn’t do it myself. To make a long story shorter- the dog walker was never called.. by anyone.. Moral of my story is that both of us rely on my need to “over communicate.” And that may not be a bad thing after all..
I have a million stories like these in both my work and personal life. I communicate and communicate and communicate! That’s just me, and I feel happier and more secure knowing that as long as I have personally made sure the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed- all will be well in my world- well for the most part anyway!
If you are an “over communicator “ like myself -its OK ! Go Send that follow-up email, and double-check on other people’s work.. no one should ever fault you for being conscientious. If they do, that’s their issue…Do what feels right to you in order to sleep well at night ☺
I would love to hear your thoughts and feelings on the topic of communication!!
Cobblestones and Heels