Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Funny how that works out

Communicators are notoriously poor communicators. What I mean by that is those who are good in the field of communications are usually really good at telling other people how to become more effective, yet are usually horrible at doing the things they tell others to do.

Like many people, I get wrapped around my axle in my domain. I like researching stuff on my own. I like coming up with my own products. I like compiling, editing, and designing on a deadline – just leave me alone and let me work. But whenever I start talking to some other folks in the nearby cubicles I often find, “Wow! There’s so much of X already done. Had I realized this, I wouldn’t have wasted Y amount of time doing it myself.” You’d think I would have learned by now.

In our office space, there are a few different activities. There is my branch – communications, there are some customer service folks, and there’re some data management guys. We are grouped by function, but a lot of our cubicles butt against the other branch folks. There is so much information that flows around here – I can’t, rather, I won’t begin to describe – suffice to say I am amazed at how many moving parts there are to what many people think are simple procedures.

Today, I spent HOURS trying to identify a guy in a photo. I sent the picture around to many different people. I called the POC for the activity where the photo was taken and couldn’t get through to anyone. I happened to be working with one of our customer service guys on something and thought to ask him if he knew the person in the photo. “No, but I’m going to see (the person who will know who that is that you can’t get a hold of) right now.”

We like to be jacks of all trades, we PR/editor/journalist/media types. I talk about communicators because that’s what I know, but I’m sure there are plenty of other career fields where this is a common trait. I just find it humorous that those of us who tout the benefits of clear and constant communication are so poor at practicing it in our own work lives.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Cullen, I don't work with others any more. But when I did, my problem was never asking for input...because I knew everything! Nyuk!

It's amazing how much better I got at my job after I dropped that attitude.