In a day and age where there are various methods of communication happening across a wide range of platforms, over communication is a Wild Web Woman’s key to maintaining functional, productive, and healthy working relationships.
Lorrie Thomas Ross always reminds me as we collaborate during my internship that “silence is death” to a woman working in the web world. If we aren’t demonstrating that work is being done on our end, following up or simply checking in on social media, people tend to assume we’re not working…or as Lorrie likes to say “they think we are out getting facials and massages and that’s not the case!”
“Communication is key” is a simple rule that holds immense truth and value, a rule we need to respect to thrive with our web-based businesses.
There have been multiple times where I feel like I am being annoying by checking too much, but my silence has caused delays in completing tasks and publishing work that could’ve easily been avoided if I had consistently kept folks in the loop or followed up. Communication (or as we like to say over-communication) shows responsibility, care and attention.
Once I worked on a project where I didn’t completely understand what the client was wanting, and instead of asking for clarification, I just kept working and submitting work that wasn’t up to the standards that they were asking for. My time was wasted and so was everybody else’s! Time is money ladies! Make it count for everyone – that’s how you keep business strong!
I also tend to overlook the fact that most of my emails have people carbon copied (cc’d) onto them, and end up not responding to everyone who needs the information, which leaves people waiting for confirmations longer than they should. My most frequent mistake happens when I complete work, submit it, and then fail to let my team know exactly where the finished product is. I have a fear of coming off as annoying, poking or pushy, and it tends to keep me from reaching out, checking in, and asking questions. However, I’ve learned (through multiple errors) that it saves everyone time and money when you take action, despite those small fears and bits of pride, and just ask and share away!
Here are some practical tips that you can apply to your work life that will help you over communicate with the people who always need to be informed with what’s going on:
- Make sure to carbon copy (cc) everyone in an email who might be involved in whatever project or assignment you are working to complete. This will help you get all of the information you need from multiple people, and it keeps everyone in the email group in-the-know in regards to who is working on what.
- Always ask for clarification and more information if you have even the smallest question about a task or issue you’ve been assigned to handle. It’s a waste of both yours and the client’s time to be producing work that isn’t what was originally asked for.
- If you’re wanting to simply let someone know what step of a process you’re in or any details regarding work you’ve produced, send them a message and let them know that a reply isn’t needed from their end! This is an easy way to keep the person on the other end from guessing and questioning what’s going on.
- Use Boomerang. Kelly wrote a post about this (you can read it here). It has a ton of features to schedule emails, and the Wild Web Women love the feature where you can set an email to hit your inbox again if you don’t get a reply. We feel like superheros for being so “on it” when we are really just geek-chic!
Over communicating is the way to ensure that all parties involved in any interaction are well-informed and on the same page. It’s easy to assume that you’ve conveyed the message you’re trying to get across, but just because you understand something doesn’t always mean that everyone else does. It’s on us to over communicate and stay on top of things so the people on the other end of our lines are able to breathe and only focus on doing their part.
When we do our part well and let everyone involved know about it, we can all keep moving forward to success.