Too Much Workplace Communication Lacks Specificity, Pt. 2

Here’s Scenario #2 of business professionals lacking specificity in communication.

Three times in three different contexts last week Communication Sin #1 came up in 7sinwhitepapercoverconversations with clients.

(A Lack of Specificity is one of The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins if you’d like to learn more download the free report at

Scenario #2:

A woman, a project manager, in my Communication Power for Leaders live, virtual training program, was frustrated with a stakeholder not responding to her outreach.

She scheduled a private coaching session to ask me for help.

For more than a month she had been reaching out asking this stakeholder for a reply to address specific issues impacting the outcome of the project.

During our conversation I learned, and she realized, that not once in her correspondence has she requested a reply by a certain date.

All her requests were left open ended. She assumed this stakeholder would pay attention and put a response on top of their priority list.

Big mistake.

More importantly, though, typically, just asking for a response by a certain date isn’t enough.

There is something else, even more important, that must be included in the request.

You must include a reason to reply that speaks to something important to the individual from that individual’s perspective.

This is called their WII-FM (the “What’s In It For Them”).

This is a context of communication too often ignored.

People think, “they should just to do what I’m requesting because it’s important to this project.”

While that is true, in today’s work environment, there are just too many competing priorities.

For that reason you need to raise the likelihood your request will rise to the top.

Next time I’ll share last week’s third communication scenario that lacked specificity and caused problems in organizations and between individuals.

What examples do you have where A Lack of Specificity negatively impacted your effectiveness, individually or as part of a team or company? Leave a comment below.

Next time I’ll share another of last week’s communication mistakes that lacked specificity and caused problems in organizations and between individuals.

’til next time, Communicate with Power,

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