Most people consider formal communication channels
when driving change.
We know that providing a consistent message repeatedly,
in many styles and formats, with avenues for feedback and adjustment, is a
Often, however, two elements are severely lacking
in communication planning: leveraging informal channels and building in the
time to do so.
Informal communication is based on relationships. It’s the drop by, the “water cooler” chat, or
a conversation over coffee.
It’s where all the action is!
That’s where we hear objections, ideas, and
constraints. It’s where we solve problems
and build support.
It’s also where we have an opportunity to adjust
our direction so that our formal messages are more accurate and consistent.
When we make use of all communication channels, formal
communication becomes more efficient. It
provides a venue for decision-making, a validation step, or an opportunity to maintain
focus and momentum.
Although informal communication is work, there is
rarely time built in to our schedules to address it, even though it pays for
itself by clarifying objectives and extending collaboration.