Overcommunicate at Your Own Peril

EPISODE 87 |  Andrew Brown, co-founder of the Academy of Business Communications

Email, chat, WhatsApp, Zoom, Teams, town halls, meetings, intranets, digital signage – it can all feel overwhelming. As the number of messages we receive every day grows, as well as the number of technologies and channels we have to master, it’s more important than ever that organizational communications be deliberate, well planned and focused on outcomes. Companies that overcommunicate, though well intentioned, risk demotivating or alienating their employees.

Andrew Brown from the Academy of Business Communications takes us through some of the most common traps that companies fall into, and explains that overcommunicating is about much more than just volume.

  • Understand why people feel you’re overcommunicating (it’s not just volume)
  • Learn how trust and authenticity can cut the number of communications needed
  • Hear what executives, supervisors and employees need to do better
  • Discover how crucial listening is – both one-on-one and in groups
  • Get tips on how to make your communications more effective

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Get more advice and free tools on the Academy of Business Communications website


Transcript

Derek DeWitt: Communications, communications, communications; certainly the topic for many organizations today. Heck, many of them have whole departments devoted entirely to communications, both internal and external. But is it possible to communicate too much? Anybody who’s ever been stuck at a dinner party with me knows that it’s certainly possible to talk too much. But in a professional context, what does it mean to overcommunicate? To discuss that with me today, I have Andrew Brown, co-founder of the Academy of Business Communications in Canada. Hello, Andrew, how are you today?

Andrew Brown: I am excellent Derek, and thank you very much for having me back.

Derek DeWitt: Thank you, and thank you for coming back. And thank you everybody out there for also coming back, unless this is your first time, in which case welcome. As always, I remind you that you can subscribe to this podcast, Digital Signage Done Right.

So Andrew, communication very important. My God, I write, I don’t even know how many thousands of words each and every month on this very topic. But it’s possible to overcommunicate. And in a corporate sense, or an organizational sense, how can you communicate too much?

Andrew Brown: When we take a look around an organization, how do we know we’re actually overcommunicating, right? We hear that adage. It’s one that’s promulgated throughout communication circles, “you’ve got to communicate 19 times to get a message through to people.” So there is a desire. I mean, I think organizations often have very good intentions and they want to communicate. And so, they think that more is better. That’s an assumption that we often operate under. More money is better, more people tends to be better or equated with an improvement. And so why not more communication being better? So, I just wanna make sure that we give our listeners a chance to understand, to get to the crux of it, why it happens or what it looks like. Again, the assumption that more is better.

There’s also assumption that if we communicate more, we will be seen to be more transparent, right? There’s a false equivalency. More communications means we’re transparent and people love transparency because it gives that sense of accountability. But giving a whole bunch of information, sending stuff through lots of different communication channels isn’t necessarily good, transparent, clarifying communications. So how do we know? How do we know that we’re over communicating? Well, a good way is to ask some folks, hey, do you really know what’s important in this organization, really important? Do you know what’s important to the organization? Do you know what’s important to your department? Do you know what is important to you and your set of responsibilities?

When there is overcommunication one of the true hard and fast rules as to determine whether or not the communications is overwhelming is knowing whether people understand the purpose that they are bringing. So do a quick survey that can be informal, walk around, use Zoom, ask your colleagues, do a formal survey. Do people really know what’s important to their organization – its purpose, its mission, some of that basic stuff.

Derek DeWitt: And if they don’t know then is that an indication that they’re being overcommunicated or under?

Andrew Brown: It can be both. That symptom can be a wow, we haven’t communicated frequently enough. It tends to be not in the right way, and not to be timely, relevant, using the right channels, being empathetic, being human about communicating. But we found in organizations right now that people are so swamped with communications, that the volume is there, that the, that same symptom is more likely to be due to overcommunications.

And another symptom is people don’t know where to find stuff that’s important to them. So, it’s not just I don’t know my place here and I don’t know what the organization’s doing, but I don’t know where to find information that’s important to me. I don’t know how to prioritize.

And related to that – and this goes very much to the feelings of people ’cause that’s very much knowledge and thinking kind of stuff – but when people aren’t feeling emotionally connected and they don’t trust the organization or their supervisors, often that is an outcome of too much communication. So again, those are the symptoms. I think there are lots of good intentions, but bad processes.

When we think about communications, we think about the sharing of ideas, the one-sided pushing information, the publishing mentality. You talked earlier about departments of communications, right? Hey, we’ve got a communications department, great. They’ll be the ones that are in charge of communications, which is in part an attempt to try to bring a discipline to communications. At the same time, the double, the other side of the coin is it’s an abdication of responsibility. Hey, I don’t have to deal with it. Let the communications department deal with it. And that’s one of the mandates. When you give a bunch of passionate, bright people, and you say this is your mandate, well, they’re gonna chuck out a lot of stuff, aren’t they? Because people will point to activity as opposed to outcome.

Derek DeWitt: Well, especially if that’s how they’re being, you know, evaluated or if that’s how success is defined. You know, it’s like, well, we expect you to put out this many memos a month, this many press releases a month. And then you’re like, that becomes your focus. We, you know, it’s one of those great modern axioms that counterintuitively, it’s not that we measure what we care about, but we care about whatever it is that we measure.

Andrew Brown: Heck, I love that. And we run workshops all the time with organizations and help really boil down to what is it that really matters to them as far as an outcome, not an output, right? Emails, posters, podcasts, town halls, all these are outputs. And they’re important means to get messages out there, to demonstrate that you are listening, to demonstrate what’s important. But those are outputs. And unless we actually step back and say, okay, why are we doing this again? Um, oh yes, we wanna move these needles. And to be fair, some of those needles are very standard organizational needles, right? Uh, we want to reduce employee churn. We don’t want people to come and go because it’s expensive to bring people on board and train them up only to have them leave quickly. So that’s a legitimate business goal. So, let’s make sure that we have communications that help people understand what they’re doing, and we’ll ultimately reduce churn.

There are all sorts of organizational needles and communications need to be mapped out against those organizational outcomes. As soon as communications within departments are separated from that – and they’re often divorced from business outcomes – well, then you’re going to have people focusing on output. All those organizational assets that people are asked to produce because I can point to it. Look at the volume of stuff we’ve done. So, at the heart, one of the other reasons is that, you know, we don’t know what we want to look at to measure, to point to as a success. That’s very common.

And we also have so many tools, right? We have email, we have Zoom, we have WhatsApp, we have chat, we’ve got Teams. We’ve got all these at our disposal. And there’s a sense that, you know, if we just send out messages with all of them, well then, we can’t miss, right? We’ve, we’ve done our jobs, right?

Derek DeWitt: Right. It’s the shotgun approach.

Andrew Brown: The shotgun approach. Most organizations don’t work in a hyper high risk, high uncertainty state. That might happen because of a COVID19, or it might be because someone’s lost a client or at risk of losing clients. So, there are those times in every organization where there’s high risk, high uncertainty. For the most part, organizations manage their risk within a comfort level. So, there isn’t that need to be using that kind of approach for communication. Oh, lack of skills. We hope that our communications folks are great at communicating, but we can’t assume that our leaders, our supervisors are great at communications. If we assume that they are, and then that also breeds an assumption that they feel they are, then there’s no built-in incentive for people to become better at communicating.

And I would say that with the more sensitivity, the increased diverse nature of our workforce, the fact that we span geographies, the fact that we have a number of different channels lends itself to some variety. Lots of, lots of nuance that has to be taken into consideration. That requires skill, timing, planning, patience, wisdom. So that can, that can all be developed, but it has to be deliberate. We do not become great at things by accidents. We become great at things by taking time, allocating resources, making things a priority. And communication skills development has to be on the table.

MIT has this great quadrant for people who love quadrants. I love quadrants. It makes life seem artificially neat and tidy, right, when things fall into quadrants. And they’ve got a series of human skills that organizations and leaders need to wrap their head around. A big part of that is communications. And of course, you’ve gotta tease that out because communication, again, if we think of communications as a talking, as a publishing, as a push-type of series of skills, then you’re really only doing part of the conversation as opposed to, uh, and I think we talked about this in a previous podcast, about the importance of listening. So those skills have to be deliberate.

Derek DeWitt: So, it sounds like what you’re saying is overcommunication could be volume. There’s just too much. You’re saying I’m getting, I’m getting a memo, you know, every hour. I’m swamped with internal emails in addition to the external ones. Plus, I have all these, you know, responsibilities. I’ve even heard of some companies like requiring you, we’re measuring you and you need to be on, you know, Teams chat a certain number of hours a day. And people are just like, you know, I’m actually trying to do my job here. My job isn’t just to communicate with my colleagues. And so, there’s that aspect of just too much actually in volume.

And then also there’s a correlative of that, which is that the quality is just not good. Because here’s the thing, if you’re giving people what they want, if I’m really hungry and you give me a big, big banquet filled with dishes, all of which look appealing to me, I’m probably going to have a positive reaction regardless of the volume, ’cause I’m gonna go, yeah, I want all of that. But if you give me a bunch of spam, literally just, it’s spam in 16 different forms. I might go, gosh, that’s a lot of spam. And so maybe part of it is the subjective perception as to what is overcommunicating and is not. ‘Cause if you’re giving the people what they want, then they’re happy.

Andrew Brown: You know, I’d like to say that’s the case, but we’ve found in organizations when you give people communications that are a lot and not prioritized and not given the proper context and perspective, people cannot just dine out, but they can gorge themselves to use your metaphor. When it comes to buffet, I always overeat. Maybe it’s hardwired into me, but a lot of us will take a lot of information. And when it comes to organizational communications, it puts the onus on people to make sense of the communication, to prioritize, to understand the context. And more often than not, sadly, that can lead to confusion.

Again, when there’s that confusion, you weaken the bond between yourself and your organization, your supervisor. One of the other consequences, quite frankly, is people tune out. You know, we think people are going to take all this information and they’re going to embrace it. But you know, people end up just in one part of the salad bar, right? The familiar part of the salad bar.

Derek DeWitt: Right. I like baby spinach and parmesan cheese, and that’s it buddy.

Andrew Brown: That’s it, that’s it. I’m going to take in the information. And you invariably unfortunately can create that situation where you inadvertently create rumors, right? Because people will go to information sources that they’re familiar with because all the other stuff’s unfamiliar, uncomfortable, it’s not put into context. So, people can again go to the familiar sources.

They can tune out. It’s too much energy to go through all that and try to make sense of what comes on the intranet and what the leader said, what my supervisor said. There’s an art to being very concise. What’s that, was it Mark Twain who said something along the lines that if I had an extra couple of hours, I would’ve made that letter I wrote to you a lot shorter. It’s that idea of really pairing down, being very concise, being very focused on what you’re trying to get across.

And again, to your point earlier about measurement, we need to understand what needles we’re trying to move and the path to get there. So again, I think organizations, most of the time are very well intentioned. They want to engage employees. They want to be sensitive and recognize that people are busy. Unfortunately, the irony is while they recognize that and they want to make things clear, they add more to the mill. And when people are compensated for the output, they’re going to continue to do that.

We have an expression we call the treadmill of pointlessness, and we find that a number of our clients, whether they’re communications folks or other members of the senior executive leadership teams, where they find themselves – and they’re aware of it, and this is the sad part of overcommunicating – they feel as if they can’t pull back. We’ve gone down this road. People have come to expect it, which again, it’s a fallacy. People want the clarity. People would prefer less frequent, authentic, targeted, relevant communications, rather than being overwhelmed with a whole bunch of communications. And that goes for not just organizational leaders, but also from supervisors. Because when a worker, for the most part right now, most of the communications come from their colleagues and their supervisors, and the leadership communication’s far less frequently, frequent. But there’s most of the time misalignment between the leaders and supervisors. And again, it’s not from lack of trying.

Derek DeWitt: So, a lot of the sense of being overcommunicated at, or to, it is kind of subjective to a certain extent. I mean, it also sounds to me like there’s no one definition for what overcommunication is because it is somewhat subjective. It could be too much. It could be that I’m getting too much information. That is irrelevant for me, and I’m also not interested in it. You know, like, I don’t know, the town hall was 45 minutes, but half of it I don’t care about, so why didn’t we, maybe… The fact of the matter is, whether it’s in person, it’s a meeting, it’s a chat, it’s an email, it all takes time to process, to take it in, read it, listen to it, and then think about it. All of that’s just taking time out of my day, you know what I mean? And so, it’s like if I have too much of that stuff and I don’t understand why then I would get that sense that, wow, these guys just won’t shut up. They just stop, won’t stop communicating with me.

Andrew Brown: Yeah. It is the perfect storm in organizations right now. And we’re finding that what organizations largely need to do. And this is, I say organizations, but it also needs to be done at the group level, as well as at the individual one-on-one level, is to become better listeners. We, again, fall into that trap that communicating is not, or somehow, it’s divorced from, listening. You communicate, you and I are communicating right now. I am speaking; therefore, I am communicating. And we forget that the other side, the listening is such an essential part to communicating. I am orating. I am speaking. I am not communicating. I only communicate when you have heard, you’ve understood, you’ve reflected back and confirmed that you’ve understood. You don’t have to agree with me, but that communication is actually at least a two-way process.

We’ve fallen into the colloquial use of communication, meaning telling somebody something. So, part of overcommunication comes to how we define communications. And if we start to go back and realize that communication necessitates a hearing component, a confirmation component, then we take a look at all of our organization’s communications, we do that through that lens, we go, holy crap, we’re not really communicating at all, are we? We’re doing a lot of activity, but we’re not really communicating.

Derek DeWitt: Well, I mean, part of the, part of the root of communicate is from Latin. And part of the root of it is communis, which is common, communal. There has to be that mutuality there or else. A lecture is not a conversation. I mean, I think we all know that.

Andrew Brown: And that’s exactly it. And there’s something that’s happened in lots of organizations where as soon as someone gets up in front of an audience people will gather around. We’re born to listen. We’re born curious, attentive. We’re open. We want leaders, whether that’s supervisors, colleagues, ourselves. We want to be able to communicate and have people embrace our ideas. So, there’s something that is very physiologically satisfying about initiating a communication. But not completing the loop – which to your point about that idea of community and about bringing the other person – without that piece. We’re not. So, we can fight it, we fight the urge. And organizations have made leaps and bounds at becoming better at communicating. But again, it has to be done deliberately.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, I think that’s, that’s a key point. Because like you said, I think a lot of companies, maybe they, the C-suite or whoever’s been around since maybe even pre-internet days. And then they’re like, well, this is how we always did it. And now we just have other tools to accomplish the same thing. But the other tools actually are completely different methodologies and engender different mindsets and frameworks for people to operate within. So in fact, it is a different animal and there are different ways to communicate. And you might actually find that there are more succinct ways for you to get out what you’re trying to get out.

Andrew Brown: Yeah. I mean, if communications departments start with, instead of what do I have to say. If they start with the, what do we have to do to verify that people understood, and not necessarily even bought into it. I mean, that’s another layer, right, if that’s one of the measures. But if people ask that question, okay, we want people to understand this. Not know it, right, because knowing something and understanding is something that’s very different. And some organizations may have a mandate, right? You have regulations that in order for compliance, people have to know something.

Derek DeWitt: Right. Like, for example, since we’re talking about food, I’m thinking food safety. In, you know, a cafeteria, you have to wear the gloves. You have to have your hair in a net. You have to wash your hands.

Andrew Brown: Yes, exactly. There’s some directive or they might say, hey, you want to make sure that food is delivered in a clean environment. What does that mean? Okay. So again, I know that. Okay, you’ve told me that it needs to be done that way. But do I understand what that translates to? Oh, okay. So, I pull out the hair when it falls into the soup. Oh, okay. Wash my hands when I come back from the bathroom. Again, there is a real gap between knowledge and understanding.

And organizations, again God bless ’em, we work with passionate organizations every single day that really want to help their employees, their colleagues, and themselves understand the importance of things. And it, strangely enough, it turns out that there are about half a dozen things that people want their colleagues to understand. And of course, it various from organization to organization. One of them is very simple: We want our organization, we want our people to know that we care about them. So, a lot of organizations have that mandate, but it gets lost. It gets lost in a swamp of policies.

Derek DeWitt: Or it seems like lip service or something, you know? Because like, well, that’s what you say and then nothing else besides that single statement, nothing else seems to say that that’s the case.

Andrew Brown: And there’s that gap between saying and action, right. And actions do speak louder than words, but organizations sometimes have a tough time when policy, policies are the embodiment of values, right. And it takes time for people to say, well, hold on for a sec, we want people to behave this way so let’s come up with a policy. Oh, we gotta run that policy by legal. We gotta run that policy by operations. And by the time it gets into something that reflects a series of behaviors or it culminates in a series of behaviors, some of the intentions may have been stripped away inadvertently and create that situation to your point where it’s in contradiction to, we want you to become completely well informed in the market.

We think it’s important for you to know the market and your skill set, so we have a training program for you. Oh, it’s $300 a year. Huh, so wait a sec. So I mean, you know, kudos for creating a policy that helps us become better at what we do. But if you’re only going to allocate $300 a year to stay up on the latest trends and techniques and tools, you’re kind of sending a very different message than what you’re saying, that it’s important for you to stay current. So, most skill sets develop quickly. And in order to stay current and understand the players and the new technologies and the trends and the legislations for the skills that keep organizations running, it takes time. Oh, and we want to make sure that you do that all on your own time, as opposed to doing it at the organization.

So again, good intentions, but when they get put into policies, sometimes some of that good intention becomes stripped away, watered down, contradicted. And organizations run on policies. I mean, the rules. There’re behaviors that we’ve coded that allow people to continue to work with one another and get our business done. Communications, those values, those things that are really important need to be aligned with the policies.

And that’s sometimes difficult, which is why you then bring in the communications department to try to fill in the blanks, unfortunately, when people don’t realize that that is how the organization’s behaving or there’s an inconsistency. That’s when we found a lot of communication departments arise when people are going well, uh, our teams don’t understand. Well, why is it that they don’t understand? Have you spent time listening to them? Have you taken a look at your policies to see discrepancies, contradictions? No. We wanted to hire a communications person. So.

Derek DeWitt: I would also argue that it’s because you didn’t do a very good job of communicating it, you know. Like other languages have different sort of cultural assumptions. Like, my understanding of English is very often in conversation and in writing, the burden of comprehension is on the communicator, not on the person receiving the communications. But I think somehow organizations sometimes, like you said, they go, well, we’ve vomited out a whole bunch of communications through all these different channels, figure it out. Well, that’s not really very helpful.

Andrew Brown: Yeah. That’s true. I mean, unfortunately I’ve sat around it enough executive tables and heard senior folks say, well, we’ve told them why didn’t they get it? They just don’t get it. What’s wrong with them? We’ve told people. And so, it reveals in the language the bias that once we tell once we, once we share, once we publish, once we orate, the burden is on the listener. That’s the assumption within organizations.

Derek DeWitt: Right. And it’s not how we communicate in our non-working life at all.

Andrew Brown: No, it shouldn’t be, right? We would have less fruitful relationships if that were the case. Although there’s carryover on both sides, right? People bring poor communications habits to work and poor communication habits from work. So unfortunately, the spheres aren’t completely distinct and impermeable. There’s that membrane of crossover. Now, the good thing is that organizations can indeed do things to prevent themselves from overcommunicating.

So we always say, let’s start with trying to bring a rigor, a discipline to communications. And we work diligently, very hard, with passionate people who want to become better communicators. And it becomes very much starting with listening. It’s not just listening to the words. And here’s where it becomes very difficult: It’s listening to the emotions of people. Every communication, every conversation brings with it some emotional component. It may not be emotional baggage, but people are, when you’re dealing with someone, they’re passionate, they’re indifferent, they’re afraid. There is always emotion underneath the conversation. It may not be an intense emotion, like fear. It could be boredom, but there is, there’s something there. So, we have to listen for, observe, recognize, acknowledge.

Organizations can, and when they do focus on listening skills, they tend to focus on first at the high level, surveys. We’ll survey people, right? Because that’s institutionalized. Then the second level that people will generally do in an organization is they’ll become better active listeners one on one. And we do a lot of workshops on how people across different levels become better listeners. And the impact that has is transformational.

But one area that organizations are very, very poor at, let’s say 95% of organizations we’ve ever dealt with, is group listening. When you are in a group, a team or an ad hoc group, or people coming together for a specific project, unique dynamics emerge. Andrew speaks loudly and everyone listens. Derek goes into a corner, or he just, he spends his time on the phone. There’s a dynamic that happens and it replicates, it repeats itself rather, when you are in that group. And there are barriers, there are traps that happen at the group level that people fall into that prevent them from listening well within that group.

So, organizations can, once they’ve become better communications at the organizational individual level, I would encourage them to take a look at how we, within a team, within groups, can become better listeners. And here’s a simple step. The beginning of the meeting allocates someone to be what’s often called a process reflector. And they can participate in the meeting, but their responsibility is to, at the end of the meeting, reflect back to the group about how people were listened to. So, was everyone’s opinion solicited? When people raised something that was contentious, were they shot down? Were goals clearly identified and carried through the meeting? Did we focus on symptoms, or did we focus on trying to understand the root cause and did we (tease) way? So, a process reflector takes a look at a meeting and reflects back.

And the purpose of that exercise is to become better in that meeting at listening to one another. So that, that takes some time. It takes some skill. It has to be deliberate. But that is a way that needs to supplement organizational listening, which again, part of communications, you can’t be communicating without listening. And one-on-one listening, the active listening, the reflecting back, confirming we have understanding. So, we say organizations need to become better communicators at all three levels –individual, group and organization.

Derek DeWitt: All right. So you gotta listen. You gotta make sure, and I think the focus thing is also very important. You gotta focus your communications. Don’t just throw out every single thing that you think of. Think about what people need to hear. Think about who needs to hear it, because keep in mind like the sales team doesn’t need to know, you know, by the way we’re using this new accounting software. They don’t care, you know, it’s not important for them.

And then this element of listening, which I never really thought of, but of course that is part of communications. And again, if people feel like there’s give and take, and they’re part of the process, maybe they won’t feel like they’re being overburdened with too much communication. What other steps can organization take to stop sort of, um, burdening people with that sense of being overcommunicated at?

Andrew Brown: I think you hit a lot of them. I would emphasize the deliberateness. Figure out what you want the outcomes to be, as opposed to the output. I’d say understand what really matters to the organization and to the individual. Get a sense for people’s priorities. We do that through listening. Spend time building trust, because once you build trust, it’s a short form. It means you don’t have to communicate a whole bunch of stuff.

If you end up switching gears and saying, okay, well, we want to build trust instead of trying to persuade, because a lot of overcommunication is that we want people to think this way. We want to win them over. We want to get them to think like us. But if we actually step back and ask ourselves, how do we actually build trust? Then we don’t have to overwhelm people with communications. We don’t have to take the shotgun method to communication.

So, we’ve helped a lot of organizations sort of put those foundations down into helping build trust. But that is a, again, a deliberate process. It means stopping doing things that were done that are familiar. It means taking responsibility. Some leaders can’t just abdicate and let the communications department deal with things. We tend to think of organization and communications as very much a change exercise that goes 24/7, 365 days a year.

Lots of times organizations will roll out a change initiative, right? Like we’re putting in software, right, a new technology. We’re changing our work processes. We’re introducing new policies so that we can be compliant. And they think of them as very time specific changes that start, have a middle and then done and dusted great. But the reality is as organizational beings, we’re always in a bit of a state of flux. Things are always moving along. New people coming on board, great. New clients coming and old clients going, great. New learnings going on, new legislation, new trends, there’s always change going on. We’ve got to think about our communications in the context of that. We should not be thinking about change communications as something that has a start, a middle and an end. Yes, discreet projects have that, but organizations, it’s a never-ending change communications process. And comms people and leaders need to think about that.

And again, I go back to building trust, but it’s, it’s deliberate. And it’s, it means sometimes not talking. It means identifying the stakeholders, figuring out what behaviors you want, defining the tools, the channels that will help people understand and build an emotional connection with individuals, groups and the organization as a whole.

So again, no silver bullet here, folks, it takes time. It’s fun. It’s vibrant. It’s scary. It’s at times boring. It is every emotion under the sun to help people overcome overcommunicating, but we can do it. We can do it as individuals, regardless of where you are in an organization, you can play a role in this. That’s the nice thing.

Derek DeWitt: Even if the company itself is a bit too rigid, you can certainly locally make things a little better for yourself and people around you.

Andrew Brown: Exactly. We all have it within our purview, but it does take deliberate time, planning, keeping that eye on the ball, again, what needles we want to move. And being realistic. I mean, if I’m in an organization at a fairly junior level for the first three months, how much influence am I going to have?

There’s organizational wisdom that comes to play in every company and you need to be savvy to that. So, identifying some of the, some of the people that have got that knowledge, that wisdom, know how things work. And if you wanna shake things up, you need to bring them on board. A topic for another discussion on how to leverage influencers within organizations so as to help move important needles.

Derek DeWitt: So contrary to what I originally thought before we started talking, overcommunication is not only throwing out too many communications, but it’s also about how the people are receiving it. And if they don’t have a connection to what you’re communicating, they don’t have a connection to the overall mission and everything else that makes the organization what it is, and if things just get a little too rigid, everything is always in this bucket and nothing ever changes, all of these can contribute to this concept and this feeling of being over-communicated with.

You know, we all have that idea of, oh my God, they just won’t shut up. Well, it’s not necessarily that they need to shut up. It’s just that when they speak, they need to do it deliberately. And they also need to listen because listening is a part of communications. Our conversation went places I really did not expect, Mr. Brown.

Andrew Brown: And hopefully we didn’t overcommunicate on this topic.

Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s right. I’ll edit this down to a workable length. Yeah. Right. I’d like to thank Mr. Andrew Brown, co-founder of the Academy of Business Communications in Toronto for talking to me today. It’s always a pleasure to have you as a guest here on Digital Signage Done Right, sir. Thanks for talking.

Andrew Brown: Well, thank you. And thank you very much for having me as a guest. And if people want to reach out to me, by all means do so at andrew@fixmycoms.com or andrewb@academyofbusinesscommunications.com. By all means, reach out. Love to hear from your loyal listeners, Derek. And always a pleasure being a guest and having a lively discussion with you, Derek.

Derek DeWitt: Don’t forget to check the transcript on the Visix website. Go to Visix/Resources/Podcasts, and you’ll find a link to the Academy of Business Communications, as well as Mr. Brown’s contact information and much, much more. Thank you again everybody for listening to this episode of Digital Signage Done Right.