SMILO 11/28/16

Happy Monday! I’ve made a SMILO for 3 weeks in a row now. You should be very proud of me. I even started a secret blog this past week as well. And I am telling no one – well I mean I just told you all – so let me rephrase – I will tell no one where to find it, but you all know I have one.

The week that passed has been very interesting. My little puppy Thor was neutered. My daughter has a concussion. I hosted Thanksgiving. And I am selling my townhouse. Wednesday I had more people in my townhouse than I had on Thanksgiving doing appraisals, inspections, surveys, and more and the only thing that was scheduled was the appraisal. Which brings me to my SMILO topic: Communication.

Let’s start at the basics… communication by definition is “the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else” according to Merriam-Webster.

Communication allows one or more persons (even animals) to be open and expressive. Thor was expressive in his disgust with my puppy altering surgical procedure. It was loud and clear. My daughter expressed her boredom on several occasions since she was not allowed to do anything stimulating until further advisement from the doctor. Try telling a teenager no phone or music or tv. Thanks doc.

Communication from the realtors about who was coming for the townhouse is where it was lacking. The buyers thought their realtor would just miraculously know they selected a home inspector and set it up for the same time as the appraiser. So here I am working from home, watching my teen with a concussion lay on the sofa next to me, and there are a ridiculous amount of people flowing in and out. Honestly, I had no idea who was coming, going, whether an inspector, a parent of the future homeowner, etc. It was rather obnoxious to be honest. And only obnoxious because I wasn’t aware.

With everyone there needs to be clear communication. No underlying hidden mice type. Being a Project Manager, you completely understand this requirement. Communication is not only expressive, but it is also listening, repeating and documenting. You need to listen. Then you need to repeat to make sure what you heard is correct… trust me… more times than not during the repeating process, something has altered. And it is not because you heard incorrectly, it is because the person you are repeating it to just heard what they communicated and they realize there is more to it OR they didn’t say it just right OR they heard it and decided they didn’t like what they communicated themselves.

After the repetitive nature of the communication, clarity is achieved and then documented. And trust me, documentation is key. Your mind has to recall too many details over time to accurately get it right each and every time. For me, I need to write down everything. I have to recall details for too many people and dogs at work and home to be on point all the time. I’m good, but not that good.

If you need an example, let me recall a fabulous little humorous ditty about a graphic designer and a secretary who lost her cat. It shows you how communication is lost if not properly communicated! Check it out here… (Although you may want to just jot this down and read it at home – you know since it is not work related). http://thechive.com/2010/08/03/secretary-loses-her-cat-and-asks-graphic-designer-at-her-work-to-create-a-missing-poster/ The secretary emails the designer and needs a poster for her cat Missy that went Missing. It leads you through multiple rounds of how communications can be misinterpreted and provides a visual to bring it all together. It’s a good read. Truly.

To bring it all in, no matter what you do, how you do it, you need to communicate. It’s just a part of life. Heck, even some people communicate with themselves (at which point this is okay until you start answering in full on conversations – then I recommend you see a shrink – just sayin’ folks!).  Be open, listen to understand and not just hear, ask questions, REPEAT, REPEAT again, and document it!