Feature Article:

Canadian Music Week, Billboard Music & Money, Jazz Appreciation Month, Spotlight March Calendar for Show Business Events
Cinequest Film Festival opens with a Gala party featuring appetizers, desserts, cocktails and entertainment, and continues its run through March 13 in San Jose. During Canadian Music Week, up to 150 artists will be selected to play in CMW's Official...
...Read More

Communicating In Chaotic Environments

Additional Reading

How do you, or would you, communicate in a chaotic environment?

That question was put to me by a reader who works in big, frantically-paced telecommunications company. Many projects operate at the same time, and many connections exist among the project teams.

In this environment, teams work independently, but at the same time depend on each other for critical information. Without that information, time is wasted and progress slowed.

In a broader sense, the challenge is to create communication systems that gather, process, and disseminate critical information. With this information, teams can work more efficiently and effectively.

The reader reports that one solution emerged out of a technical forum organized around a very large project. He says that while participants exchanged technical information, a lot of value came from the process, as well as the content.

Specifically, many participants got to know each other, sharing their experiences and insight. This opened up person-to-person channels that had not existed before. New, informal networks developed and participants found alternative ways to get information.

Therefore, he suggested that quarterly conferences might be a good idea, because they provide a mechanism for further developing and extending these networks.

My suggestions complemented his experience and thoughts. I recommended that each team develop an information requirements list at its planning meetings. After articulating such a list, team members can begin identifying where and how they will get this information. In other words, start with objectives, a strategic approach.

Teams should ask: What information do we need? Why do we need it? Where and when can it be found? Who will get it, and from whom? This takes the information shopping list to a new level, without necessarily adding a lot of time to the process. With the specifics identified, gathering the information should be quicker and easier.

On a related topic, technology opens up a number of interesting opportunities for better communication in such an environment. Email, discussion groups, and internal databases offer ways to get and give critical information.

On a smaller and less chaotic scale, I've set up several closed, Internet discussion groups for associations with which I volunteer. They provide excellent forums for discussion between meetings or other get-togethers.

Perhaps the biggest challenge is to create electronic mechanisms that actively draw out information, rather than just passively route it to the participants. One way of doing this might be to set up groups in which requests for information are posted and answered.

While such a process might not work for some organizations, the thrust behind it should work for most. That is, we can build effective communication systems when we start with a strategic approach, working backward from our objectives to the things we will do.

In summary, even in chaotic environments, we can develop systems that lead to good communication, allowing us to get and give critical information.

About the Author

Robert F. Abbott writes and publishes Abbott's Communication Letter. Learn how you can use communication to help achieve your goals, by reading articles or subscribing to this ad-supported newsletter. An excellent resource for leaders and managers, at:


More Reading:

Literally Littered with Illiteracy

Assertive communication what is it and why use it

A to Z guide in CallWave software download


Free Internet telephony made easy conaito VoIP ActiveX SDK

How to Write a Speech in 13 Steps

VoIP Asia Earthquake and Tsunami Relief

Dont Let the Internet Overstimulate Your Mind

15 Ways To Keep Your Speaking Inspiring and Creative

On St Valentines Day Or Any Romantic Interlude Woo Your Sweetheart With Chocolates Roses AND A Leadership Talk

How To Get An Instant Response To Your Urgent EMail!
In the business world, “You’ve Got Mail” has turned into a curse. Fact is, the average business user spends an average of over two hours a day just dealing with email! If you have an urgent issue requiring an immediate response, how do you get your...
...Read More

Those Mobile Phone Wielding Drivers
A taxi driver in Singapore recently drove his taxi headfirst into a rather deluxe condominium swimming pool! At the subsequent court case the driver was fully exonerated from any blame on the grounds that it was raining heavily at the time of the...
...Read More

How to write emails that get results!
Writing an effective email that gets the result you were looking for is not as simple as just opening up your email software and hitting the keyboard with your fingers. Writing an email that gets results is an art form - get it right and it is...
...Read More

Renovation vs Innovation
Renovation vs Innovation: Confuse These At Your Peril! First, some basic definitions: 1) in-no-va-tion n. the introduction of new things or methods. 2) ren-o-va-tion v.t. to bring back to an earlier condition by extensive repair. Creating a...
...Read More

How to Write a Speech in 13 Steps
You can see my credentials in my bio. You should also know that I love to write speeches. In fact, I've been accused of being a better speech writer than speech giver! I'm working on that. ;-) I'll tell you how to write a speech the way I do it,...
...Read More