Recipe for communication: Just the right mix

By Jenna Silverman

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For as long as I can remember I have always been told to over-communicate, but to be as clear and concise as possible and to get straight to the point. It’s easier said than done, as trying to get the right mixture for a successful and effective interaction can be a balancing act.

Baking is something that I love to do (outside of work, that is). Baking requires just the right amount of each ingredient. If one proportion is off, those chocolate chip cookies just won’t turn out. Over the years I have learnt that communication is a lot like baking; each interaction requires a pinch of using the correct channel, a dash of detail and a cup of following-up to all parties involved. If all are done to the correct amounts, you have the perfect result.

Join me as we bake up the perfect recipe for effective communication.

Choosing the right pan

Depending on which channel you want to use to communicate (email, Slack, text message, etc.) hinges on who you are communicating with (colleague, boss, friend, spouse, etc.). Is Tweeting your boss the most effective way to remind them of a meeting tomorrow? Probably not. Choosing the right communication channel is as important as making sure you have the right pan, seeing how this is the way you are delivering what you are making.

Get the right Ingredients

Stick to the ingredients list - don’t go off the beaten path - be precise. Only share the details that will have an impact on the message you are sharing. You don’t want to use too many eggs when making a cake, as it would throw off the consistency of the batter. You only want to use what is required, no more, no less. Think about what the most important details are that give context and present those.

Turn up the heat

Everyone gets busy. People forget to respond to your message, to make a note about the action item they are supposed to complete, or a meeting slips their mind. It happens. It never hurts sending a little reminder out (either directly after a meeting or a day or so before) to make sure everyone is on the same page and knows what their responsibilities are. The oven is the most crucial point to bring all the ingredients together for a final product. If you are not able to follow up on your communication to bring it all together and make sure that everyone is doing their part, what did you do all that work for?

Enjoy

All the work that you did to make that apple pie has now paid off. All the ingredients melded together perfectly to make a final product for all to enjoy. Finding the right mix can take some time, but once the right amounts have been discovered, you have a recipe you can use for a lifetime.

About Jenna: Jenna is an Associate Consultant for MitchelLake Onsite based out of Silicon Valley. With 5+ years recruitment experience, Jenna has built out and assisted with staffing large Fortune 500 companies across the United States including McKesson, Levi Strauss & Company and Exxon Mobile.