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Why is communication so hard?

(Hint: It’s not if you care)

Snow-stranded motorists

· On this January 6, when a massive snowstorm hit the Washington, DC, region, hundreds of motorists spent the night stuck on I-95 in the freezing weather with little information or guidance about what was happening, how long it would last, what and when help was coming, and what to do and not do.

The J6 Capitol riot

· On the previous January 6, a lack of communication was blamed for the failed police response to the Capitol riot, while police officials blamed communications breakdowns between intelligence agencies.

The workplace

· You assign a team member a critical project with a tight turnaround. Along the way, you check in (respectfully) for status (because your boss wants to know because her boss wants to know, and so on) and whether any help is needed.

Techies versus tech users

· A Fortune 50 corporation emails its employees, most still working remotely, that it’s switching online access to DaaS (“Desktop as a Service”) and disabling access through company-issued laptops (“end-of-life devices”) in two weeks after mandatory training.

Revert to real communication.

You know, asking questions, listening, truly hearing, and trying to understand one another.

Respect the importance of communicating.

At work, this means putting communications professionals at the table alongside leaders so they can sense and reflect on the impact and shape decisions and plans as they are made. In other words, having communications in the kitchen making the dish rather than taking bad orders to deliver.

Rehumanize communications.

Anyone can be a good communicator if they care about people.



A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.