Squirrely Communicators – The Sequel

squirrely communications Latin Business Today
3 core communications insights which can inhibit success


I wrote an article several years ago about dealing with squirrelly communicators. At that time, it was mainly focused on the slippery shenanigans of dodgy emailers, instant messengers and staff meeting politicians.

I was recently overcome by both boredom and astonishment during a telephone conversation with a colleague. Once the call was over, I thought, what was it about the exchange that got my dander up?

Well, one thought let to the next and before I knew it, I’d refreshed my squirrely communicator categories and added a few more violators to the list.

1.  The Over-Under Communicator

This well-meaning individual simply does not understand the audience to which he is addressing. Worse again, he may not have much regard for other people’s time or just believes his issues are more pressing than anyone else’s.

Here’s an example:

The senior VP of HR has mandated that all administrative assistants take online training in social media monitoring for the next four Fridays. Operations is asked to communicate this message to all affected employees. In an effort not to “miss” anyone, the ops manager sends the missive to all administrative assistants, and the executives they support.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The list is fine, but the message is off. The ops manager should have been more thoughtful about what was communicated to whom – a one-size fits all approach wont fly here. The email blast that is addressed to the admins should say what they are being asked to do and how this new knowledge will impact their job role and responsibilities.

A busy executive does not need to know this level of detail, and will undoubtedly be confused and unsure of what actions shes meant to take  if any. Instead, a separate email should have been crafted that apprised the executive that her admin would be in training from 8-9am for the next four Fridays. Let the executive know that the training is designed to better support her communications and monitoring needs across social media.

Now, that’s useful – and positive – information.

2.  The “Txtspk” Communicator

While text speak is a practical and efficient solution to the constraints imposed by mobile phones, the use and overuse of acronyms, emoticons and creative abbreviations in formal – digital or analog -communication is viewed by many (non-millennials) as lazy and sloppy.

If you are regularly in the midst of one of these culprits, you may have to speak in their language to get the point across. Beat these guys at their own game. Heres a site that has a lengthy list of chat acronyms and text shorthand. GL/HV J





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