Because the word “communication” doesn’t tell us what you want. When you ask for more communication, here’s what you really might want:
- Explanation: You may want a policy or a process explained in simpler terms, with clearer pictures.
- Information: You may want details of events put into the available organizational media more times.
- Affirmation: You may want people to talk to other people about what is working, to encourage each other.
- Persuasion: You may want more selling to happen, of your event or someone else’s.
- Illustration: You may want stories.
- Clarification: You may want more backstory, talking about why this process is being implemented or how this decision was made.
- Celebration: You may want more delight in the organization, less information and more balloons.
- Confession: You may want people to accept responsibility for what isn’t working.
These are just 8 of the many things that people mean when they say, “We need more communication.” And these 8 can, at times, conflict. Information isn’t explanation. Confession isn’t clarification. Some things take more words, some fewer. Some take more images, some none. Some take all channels, some shouldn’t be in more than one.
I could say more, of course. But I won’t. Sometimes “we need more communication” means “Just shut up.”
Jon Swanson has three degrees in communication. It doesn’t help much.