Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 9:14 am on

In kindergarten Miss Schweitzer and Mrs. Mueller would line us up in our tiny chairs across the classroom. Sitting on one end, Miss Schweitzer would whisper a word to the child closest to her asking that it be passed along until it reached Mrs. Mueller on the other end of the row. As many times as we would try it, the word that was finally heard by Mrs. Mueller was never the one initiated by Miss Schweitzer.

Just mention the game "Telephone" to anyone and I’ll bet that person can tell you about similar experiences that go well beyond kindergarten. In spite of this widespread knowledge of how ineffectively people communicate, I’m always surprised when managers and supervisors verbally pass along important information or instructions "down the row."

While there’s a lot to be said for a one-on-one personal approach in business, detailed information or instructions need to be clear, concise and written.

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