2 Quick Tips to Prevent Time-Wasting Miscommunication

by Debra Kunz | Founder, Center for Deliberate Growth

iaap-miscommunication

Juggling multiple projects simultaneously is a ‘normal’ day for the savvy administrative professional. Not only do you have your own work to do, you are also responsible for keeping your boss(es) on track. That means you have projects that are on your to-do list, and projects that are on your boss(es) to-do list, which basically means that they are all on your to-do list.

How you communicate (or don’t communicate) directly affects how efficiently these projects and tasks are successfully completed.

Below are 2 quick tips to improve your communication and leadership skills, and help you become more efficient.

1.) Ask more questions.

If you don’t understand what someone is asking you to do, your only choice is to guess and assume that you know what they meant. If you spend time working on what you think they want, and it turns out to be incorrect, it wastes a lot of your time, and theirs. Instead of guessing, ask clarifying questions until you understand their expectations.

Depending upon the person you are interacting with, asking questions may take some courage. It helps if you open the question by using phrases like, “to be sure that we’re on the same page…”, or “to keep us from wasting time later…”, or “to make sure I understand the result you want…”

You’ll know the best approach based on the person you’re interacting with.

2.) Make it easier to respond to your email.

You know people get A LOT of email, just like you do. Below is a technique to make it easier for people to scan their inbox and act on yours.

In the email subject line, include what action you are requesting at the beginning of the subject line, followed by the topic.

Examples of actions you might request include: ACTION NEEDED, APPROVAL, DECISION NEEDED, FYI (know that an email marked FYI will probably be postponed until some other time), DEADLINE TODAY, PROJECT UPDATE, or URGENT. Choose the action that makes the most sense for your message.

A Bonus Tip: Only use URGENT if the receiver would consider the content of the email to be urgent plus important. If you use URGENT too often and on every topic, the receiver won’t be able to decipher which items are actually urgent. They will conclude that you don’t know either since in the receiver’s mind, you have defined most things as URGENT. That will result in your emails being put in the ‘get to it later’ category.

I look forward to meeting you at IAAP CAP Fall Bootcamp 2019!


Debra Kunz, Founder and Certified Business and Executive Coach, Center for Deliberate Growth®.

www.CenterForDeliberateGrowth.com | www.linkedin.com/in/debrakunz


The Certified Administrative Professional is a prestigious honor that thousands have earned over the last 15 years. Adding the CAP after your name proves to the world not only that you have the knowledge to be great at your job, but also that you are committed to your profession, success, and lifelong learning.

Fall 2019 CAP Study Bootcamp is exclusively for those taking the CAP exam in the fall of 2019 or spring of 2020.

Join your peers Aug. 19-21, 2019, at the Crossroads Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, for this incredible opportunity. Cohort size is limited to ensure personalized learning, so register today!

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