I have spent a great deal of time on this page talking about communication, mainly within the family or relationship unit. However, on today’s Working Wednesday, I want to talk a little bit about communicating with your coworkers and dealing with mistakes.
How good are you at communicating with your coworkers?
I am sure every single one of us is able to be civil and polite with our coworkers, which is, of course, an important step toward good communication. That being said, I am sure we all also get busy, forgetful, or just plain overwhelmed at times and things fall through the cracks. When this happens, we need to take a step back, remind ourselves that we are all just humans and thus fallible creatures (no matter how well-organized we may be, or how supported by technology we may be.) We will make mistakes, and it is important to help each other through these mistakes, rather than throw blame.
That being said, it is also important to review what you have done and make sure you are catching your own mistakes whenever possible.
I had an example of both of these in one project this week. Neither was a huge deal, because I had specifically requested extra review before the finished project (a newsletter) was released, but it is what inspired me to make this post. You see, the newsletter is the first of its kind to be produced by my committee, and for some reason I thought it would be fun to be the “production editor,” instead of writing for it.
Honestly, it was kind of fun, don’t let me lie to you. I’d like to even make one for my other committee, someday (maybe). But I digress – back to the two mistakes in this newsletter. The first, was that the newsletter had the wrong title. To which, you may ask, “How the %$&&$ did you do that?” The answer is miscommunication. The editor of the newsletter referred to it by the wrong name, and I thought that meant he had changed it. But, the review process caught it, and we were able to fix it before it was disseminated.
The second mistake was totally my faul; I was playing with the layout and overlaid a text box on top of some important information, which was then hidden. I had stared at the thing so long (and the line was so short) that I completely glossed over it. But, the review process also caught that one!
Rather than get mad at me for the mistakes, the reviewer just pointed them out, and I fixed them (though I did clarify the title one more time just to cover my own butt). And now there is a bright and shiny newsletter to send to everyone!