When it comes to communication, there’s two extremes we can take:
- We can hope that those we’re interacting with just magically are in tune with us; we can communicate as little as possible, hoping that they’ll fill in the blanks with what we meant… or…
- We can put in the effort to be crystal clear about what we mean to say. To say things that we might think are obvious, but may indeed not be. To realize that the person we’re communicating with has lived a different life than we have, and so, brings different assumptions to the table. To think through where ambiguities about what we’re trying to communicate might pop up, and rephrase/reformulate our message until it’s as receivable as possible.
We can either under-communicate, or we can over-communicate.
Both, in extreme, can cause problems. But, under-communicating causes big problems long before over-communicating does.
So, best to lean towards over-communication.
(Even better yet is what Karl Sutt describes as empathetic, high resolution communication. Yes, extreme over-communication can cause problems; But the effort to partake in precise, well thought-through, and empathetic communication, coupled with an extra push of effort to be concise, is rarely wasted.)