Conscious Communicator Tip #10 – The Law of Familiarity, Pt. 1 (300 words or less)

Week 2 of 3 focusing on a Lack of Specificity, after introducing this deadliest communication sin last week, is about two important reasons for why a lack of specificity occurs too frequently and is so damaging.

Each reason falls under The Law of Familiarity.

This week you are going to learn about this law in the context of being too familiar with the people in our sphere of influence, including close family members, intimate personal partners, and employees who have been in their job for a significant amount of time.

Imagine, when familiar with other people we expect more from them and feel they should know things they may not. This includes, often in intimate relationships, when we assume our partner knows how we feel and what we want or need in situations, so we do not provide necessary details.

This is about making assumptions due to our familiarity with the other individual. We all learned at an early age what happens when we “ass-u/me!” Right?

When we commit to adding specificity to our communication with whom we are familiar, we also risk offering too much information. This can be condescending and disrespectful.

Therefore, we need to balance specificity in our communication based on the level of familiarity of the person with whom we are speaking in relation to the specific situation.

For example: You are speaking to a long-term employee who should know a particular company procedure. You want to make sure you maintain respect in your communication while ensuring your request more likely will be fulfilled, you would say, “Steve, you’ve been here a long time so I know you probably know this, and I just need to make sure your team is aware that ________________.”

’til next time, make this week a week of specific communication!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results