Communication Pool

Improving your communication one example at a time.

A few weeks ago, I posted this actual text from a company memo.

I HAVE RECIEVED QUITE A FEW COMPLAINTS ABOUT CUSTOMERS BEING STALLED AT THE SPEAKER! THERE SHOULD BE NO “WAIT A MOMENT” AT THE SPEAKER, YOU HAVE A ORDER TAKER AND THAT’S IS THERE FIRST PRIORITY! PLEASE LOOK INTO PROCEDURES WITH THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND ENSURE THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

What makes this an ineffective memo and poor communication?

  • Multiple spelling errors – this shows that the writer does not even care enough to check spelling errors.
  • All caps – this is tantamount to shouting. Coupled with an exclamation mark after the first two sentences, it’s a very loud yell.
  • Multiple grammar errors – again, careless communication and lack of attention to details.

What does it say about the writer?

  • This manager doesn’t care about people.
  • This manager does not pay attention to details.
  • This manager has no tact or diplomacy.
  • This manager does not respect employees.

Let’s look at the memo again. This time, I’ve highlighted the spelling and grammar errors with colored text.

I HAVE RECIEVED QUITE A FEW COMPLAINTS ABOUT CUSTOMERS BEING STALLED AT THE SPEAKER! THERE SHOULD BE NO “WAIT A MOMENT” AT THE SPEAKER, YOU HAVE A ORDER TAKER AND THAT’S IS THERE FIRST PRIORITY! PLEASE LOOK INTO PROCEDURES WITH THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND ENSURE THIS IS NOT HAPPENING.

How could this memo have been written more effectively? Look at the following revision:

I have received quite a few complaints from customers who are told to “wait a moment” at the speaker in the drive-thru. This should never happen as the order-takers must continuously take orders as their first priority. Please ensure that this does not happen again in the future.

This revision is Clear, Correct, Concise, and does not yell at the readers. It is more likely to be read and heeded than the original memo.

I will not comment on how this sounds like a completely reactionary memo and there doesn’t seem to be any investigation into the matter. Is it possible there are exceptions to the rule? Unfortunately, we don’t know what else this manager was thinking when the memo was written.

 

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