Where There is Concern, Step Up the Communication

I’m big on communication.

I believe it should be constant. I believe it should be transparent.

I believe no matter how hard you work at it, it can be better.

I learned something more about communication this weekend. Let me explain:

My wife has pneumonia. Bad enough to go to the hospital. We went Saturday.

We had a rocky first few hours. She’s in pain. Breathing is labored. But, after arriving, we wait. An hour and a half for the doctor. Another three hours before treatment begins.

The whole time we are in the dark. It wasn’t until the pain became more difficult than the treatment began.

Things got better as the weekend continued. But, the rocky start has stuck with me.

It could have been avoided with better communication.

The hospital did nothing to address our immediate concerns. No orientation about what we should expect. No explanation about the reason for the delay. No discussion about intermediate steps.

The longer we went without information, anger and frustration crept in. It made for a confrontational environment. We didn’t have any common ground.

My wife is on the mend. We hope she will be released soon.

But, I’m reminded. When it comes to communication:

  1. The greater the concern of the customer, the greater the burden of communication.
  2. Address the concern right away.
  3. Create expectations about your plan to deliver relief.
  4. Determine if there are short-term steps to take until the ultimate plan is deployed.
  5. Keep the concerned in touch with the progress.

This applies with customers, spouses, colleagues – you name it.

Where there is concern, step up the communication.