There are times when we are bombarded with communications from all angles and are totally confused as to which input needs our focus and attention.
Sadly this situation of “overload” had tragic consequences in the Afghan war when we lost five Americans due to friendly fire. The investigation into the incident cited confusion over which input was the critical one, a lack of following procedures, and coming to a conclusion without validating the information received. Bombs were dropped on our forces when they were mistakenly identified as the enemy.
Most miscommunications do not have such dire results. But they do have consequences. To avoid mistakes, communication skills training experts recommend that you…
- Prioritize inputs according to urgent and important. Then deal with them one by one.
- Follow established procedures as to receiving and delivering communications.
- Check that the information is correct before you make critical decisions.