Communicate Early and Often

It is very easy to fall into the trap of assuming that if you work hard, and do great work, you’ll be recognized.  Unfortunately, it’s not always so easy.  If you don’t communicate what you’ve done- early, and often- and claim credit for your achievements, they may go unnoticed.  Therefore, you must communicate early and often.

Keeping track of status is a pain.  Communicating status takes time away from other tasks, that you really should be doing.  And writing status is – well- boring.  It’s about things that you’ve already done.  You have to break this mentality, and work on sending status regularly.

You need to send status to people you are collaborating with, with your manager, and with other team mates.  One tip is to copy your manager on major status updates for each project you are working on.  If it involves a significant achievement, then copy your second-line manager as well.

There are many benefits to communicating early and often

  1. People recognize that you haven’t forgotten them.  This is key when you have 50 balls in the air, and don’t want people constantly asking for status.  
  2. If you save a copy of your communications, you can use those later for performance reviews.  This means that when it comes time to remember what you did for the year, you’ll have a journal of activities.
  3. This also serves as coverage.  As in CYA.  You can prove what you’ve done on a task, in case an issue should arise.  An Email trail is invaluable should you ever need it.
  4. Communication builds trust.  People will trust that you are being transparent, and that you are doing what they need done.

In short, I can’t emphasize enough the power and value of communicating early and often.  It is an often overlooked skill, and while it is a chore, it is very worth it.

Do you communicate early and often?  What are your tips for doing this?

Next:  Communication is Key

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