Isn’t it just the way? You think you have perfectly communicated your thoughts and the person on the receiving end hasn’t interpreted it the way you expected? For all the ways that we communicate, technology hasn’t necessarily made it any easier. Especially as we have moved from oral communication to written. Paul Simon may sing to us a 100 ways to leave your lover, but that could easily be changed to 100 ways to screw up a message.
Creative Communication Stress
Recently, in the effort to save some time, I changed how my subscribers receive a notification that I had penned my latest post. Up until recently I sent a carefully crafted email. I would give a hint of the post or write a little snippet about my thoughts about it. Even though the design was the same, it took time to create an appealing subject line and a message that caught enough attention for them to actually click on.
From a reader’s perspective it’s rather like having 50 people at your door. Who will you invite in for a coffee and who will you say, no thanks? It’s not as easy as you might think to get invited in for coffee.
Automated Communication To Save The Day!
In my efforts to save time, an acquaintance told me there is another way, an automated way. Fantastic, I can use all the time I can get. Plus, being interesting in a stand out kind of way is exhausting. Automation, my new best friend. So, I put together the new email, with a message about the change. At no time did I say, this is what you will get in your inbox every time. It was clear in my head. A perfectly worded communication to my faithful readers.
Apparently guessing my intent was not conveyed as a necessary step. ( I think I might have heard at one time that a frustration shared by many men is that women expect them to be mind readers….)
This is where an oral dialogue would have cut through the “mind reading, I thought I said “, mess. Then it might have gone like this.
“Hey, a friend told me I could automate this whole email thing, save me a few hours every week. Less time on that, keep my brilliance for my posts. So I’m going to totally change how I send the emails to you. All you have to do is click on the button that says “Continue to read”.
“Oh, so you’re not giving us a preview anymore? And we won’t know what we’re getting into and if it’s worth our time?”
“Nope, it’s all about me. What do you think?”
“I think I’m going to ask someone else in for coffee.”
“Oh wait, was it something I said?”
Then, their tone, facial expressions and the door closing in my face, would serve as clues to reconsider this strategy.
Yep, communication. Seems so easy, until it’s not. The lesson in all this, especially if you aren’t face to face, is ask a few more questions, give more information and look for feedback. Be prepared that what you thought you said, and what they heard, might be two totally different things. Here’s to your success and please, feel free to leave a comment or yes, even share.