Messaging - Communications
Regardless of the report or other communication, some focus should be given as to the messages you are trying to communicate. Even in seminars, the question is “what is the take-away?”. Time is precious and getting more precious. What is the message?
Considerations for your messages:
- Objective – What is the information supposed to cover?
- Audience – With whom are you communicating? Management needs summary. Analysts need detail.
- Attention length – Is this going to be scanned quickly or is it going to be reviewed in detail?
- Value – Related to objective. Why is someone going to care why they are reading it?
- Terminology – Be aware that terminology can be a barrier to communication. If individuals are put off when they here certain words, stop using them. Framing discussions in terms that cause people to shut down does not enhance communications. Especially when they would be receptive to the ideas outside of that terminology packaging.
- Message – Did you determine what it was you wanted to say? If it is a report, are you providing the intent? E.g., Green, yellow, red to show the general condition of the status.
- Consistency – Is the message consistent throughout? Often, a little bomb is left in the detail that raises concerns about the overall status.
- Conciseness – Get to the point quickly and provide sufficient information and not more. You are trying to maintain attention for the needed span.
- No assumptions – Acronyms exist everywhere. Do not assume that the reader knows them, unless you have heard them use them.