Can Communicating Too Much, Be Too Much?

For those of you who know me or know somebody that knows me. You know that I talk a little…okay…maybe I talk a lot.

When I was in grade school my Mom went to a parent/teacher conference. The teacher asked my Mom if I was forced to be quiet at home. My mother said no and asked why. The teacher replied that she thought maybe I wasn’t allowed to talk at home and that was why I talked so much at school. Mom responded, “He talks all the time at home too.” I’ve realized over the years that this is a part of who I am. This doesn’t mean that I’m not continually working to rein in my talking. I also realize it’s part of how God made me and there are benefits as well.

Being able to communicate well is key to good relationships.

Communication is not just what we say, write, draw or even an expression or gesture we use. Communication is also what we hear or see. Hearing is a critical part of good communication. Quite often we forget that we need to listen to what our customers want or to hear the different idea that a team member has. We need to remember communication is a two-way process. I think this is why God gave us two ears, two eyes and only one mouth. He knew that the receiving part was twice as hard as the giving part. If we don’t communicate well, we can’t expect to have beneficial and productive relationships.

We all perceive things differently.

When figuring the price of a new home it can be difficult to know some specifics until after construction has started, i.e. the distance from electric meter to the house. These unknowns can be covered by allowances. Several years ago, while in the early stages of building a new home, we had included a 50’ allowance for running the electrical entrance from the pole to the house. As we were staking out for the house location on the property the customer pointed out that it was going to be 150’ from the electric pole to the house. He asked if that WAS GOING TO BE A PROBLEM. My partner responded. NO, IT WOULDN’T TO BE A PROBLEM. The construction continued and everything was fine…until the final billing. When we gave the customer the final bill with the additional cost for the extra 100’ he was angry. As we worked through this, it was clear what had happened. When the customer asked the question, what he really asked was, IS IT GOING TO COST MORE? When my partner responded what he was really saying was, PHYSICALLY IT CAN BE DONE. Being clear when we communicate is hard, but important.

If we say something once, then saying it 10 times is better.

Saying things enough without saying them too many times is a difficult balance. It’s better to over communicate rather than not communicate enough. This takes longer but can minimize if not eliminate misunderstandings later. This is the main reason that I have developed the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system that I use. It comes from years of attending the school of hard knocks. This system will give contractors and customers clarity about what the project includes

If there is going to be a misunderstanding, I don’t want it to be because of something that I didn’t communicate.

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