Friday Rant: Failure to Communicate Is Simply Not Acceptable

We've all heard that the most important component of retail success is location, location, location. And for business in general -- and in life, for that matter -- nothing is more important than communication, communication... you get the idea. Yet, even some the largest global enterprises either don't get that, or don't care. And while we probably all accept the importance of great communication as the most essential value added proposition we offer in addition to our products and services, the topic warrants review.

For those who missed my exasperated quasi-rants earlier this week about 150,000 Gmail users losing all access to their accounts for over 3 days, you can find my impetus for today's rant at So You Believe Gmail Is Free and Google's Gmail System Continues To Wreak Havoc .... Suffice it to say that Google's only response to their victims was, simply, that they were working on the problem in an auto response to attempted log in – which for most was likely every 20 minutes of every waking hour for over 72 hours.

What is most important about effective communication is what happens when there isn't any. In the case of the Gmail fiasco, those affected inevitably came to believe that either their data might not ever be recovered or -- since the loss "only involved .08% of their subscribers" -- perhaps Google didn't really care when, or if, the problem got resolved. Let's call this the black hole affect. Another version occurs when we arrive late for events without informing our families or colleagues that we're stuck in traffic, on a delayed flight or simply running behind schedule. Communication is about mutual respect. The last feeling any of us wish to have is that we're not respected. So we fill in the gaps with dark scenarios such as crashes, serious breakdowns and the like. Failure to communicate on a timely basis in this age of cell phones and text messaging is pre-requisite to maintaining respectful relationships in our business and personal lives.

Ultimately, the most valuable commodity we all expend is time. When it gets wasted by organizations and individuals who fail to effectively communicate the status of events and projects for which they are responsible and to which they have committed, the resulting time wasted by those waiting upon dialogue and answers in conjecture is lost forever. If we can all keep this reality top of mind, all of our relationships will be significantly enhanced and more deeply fulfilling at every level.

- William Busch

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