If you’ve followed for a while you know I enjoy running (I’m on MapMyRun, if you’d like to connect!) I’m also a bit of a nutrition nut due to a high school stint in wrestling, several years of running marathon distances and longer, and generally being a nerd. One thing that I have learned over time, and studies have backed up this observation, is that all of us consistently overestimate the calories we burn and underestimate our intake. Let’s repeat for clarity’s sake:
We consistently overestimate the calories we burn and underestimate what we consume.
It’s a part of being human to want to maximize our successes and minimize things that detract from our performance. As I thought through this idea (on a run, of course) I considered the parallel in the workplace when it comes to communication.
Managers overestimate the amount of communication provided and underestimate the amount of desired feedback.
Put simply, managers think they are communicating plenty. They think they are rockstars at communication and have it completely taken care of. At the same time their employees feel clueless and out of the loop. They are not getting sufficient information to do their jobs well and wish the manager would share more often.
Same principle: we want to maximize the activities we do (Wow! I communicated that well. I rock!) and minimize things that detract from that (Well, if the employees listened more then they would know what’s going on.)
One thing I do now for sure–in all of the thousands of employees I have met over the years, I have yet to come into contact with one that told me, “My manager communicates too much.”
When in doubt, share information. The best leaders know that sharing information is more powerful than holding onto it in the long run, even when you have to communicate with difficult team members.
What are your thoughts on manager feedback and communication?