It’s often amazing to me how much is said and how little is communicated. Many people seem intent on making sure they are heard — not that their message is heard.It’s Toastmasters contest season again, and due to another obligation I was unable to attend or participate in my club’s contest. It was a well-publicized event — I received at least three blanket emails and two direct personal ones inviting me to participate. I know they had contestants — an email said they did and I saw a fellow member outside the club meeting and was told there were folks competing but they needed/wanted more people.The contest was scheduled for 90 minutes across lunch, ending at 130pm. At 255pm, I received an email to our entire club saying that someone had been overlooked in the Thank You fest that ended the contest (I’ve posted before about how useless thank yous are at Toastmasters — and anywhere else). He worked hard (it’s a thankless task) and deserved some recognition. But after that initial email, six (6) others replied to all to say “Hey yeah, thanks bud! Ditto!” One person — who, like me, missed the contest — did chime in to ask who actually won the contest, since that was omitted from any of the emails. Two more people replied to that query, apparently ignoring the request to add “Me, too. Thanks!” messages to the growing thread. I still do not know who won — it hasn’t been posted to the web site, and no email has gone out to acknowledge the contest ants (sic), who apparently are just an afterthought.So what’s the purpose of this string of communications? One person thanked someone else publicly (and deservedly so). Five others felt the need to echo that sentiment publicly (when privately would have been FAR more appropriate). No one felt the need to acknowledge the result of what supposedly was the stated purpose of the whole meeting. What’s wrong with this picture?
Never hit send unless there is a purpose to the message, and match that message purpose to the (entire) audience you are sending it to.