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Stop miscommunication in its tracks

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

You might be a brilliant thinker, a tireless worker and a nice person. But if you get caught in a communication breakdown, all your talents won’t save the day.

If the following scenarios sound familiar, salvage them while you still can:

The wishy-washy boss. Your manager tells you that you have authority to make purchasing decisions, although you should “bounce your major purchases off the CFO, but it’s OK to overrule him.” You eventually overrule the CFO, only to have your manager scold you for “not working well together.”

Avoid this unpleasantness by confirming the boss’s initial instructions. Gather the CFO and your boss in the same room and have them agree on your authority level. If that’s not possible, write a memo to your boss spelling out your authority and copy the CFO.

The out-of-the-loop colleague. You depend on a co-worker, Tim, to do his share of a project. He agrees. Then changes occur that affect Tim’s responsibilities, but Tim works from home and no one tells him the latest developments. He winds up wasting time on irrelevant work.

Solution: As soon as you assemble a team, announce a communication strategy to link everyone. How? Try an intranet, a dedicated voice-mail line that provides updates, or a designated contact person who spreads late-breaking news to the group.

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