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The Need to Communicate

Effectively communicating information is essential


You need information from other people to get work done, and you must provide them with the information they need. Information is key to all planning and decision-making. Communicating information is essential in jobs and in coursework/studies.

Some information sources are straightforward and some require contact with other people, in your team, in other parts of the organisation and beyond. Indeed, handling information is one of the most important aspects of social interaction in organisations. Good communication is the basis for most effective teamwork. A breakdown in communication can be a source of real problems.

In the following examples you could be either Person A or Person B — the sender or the receiver of information.

  • Person A may need to inform Person B so that Person B can continue with what they have to do.
  • Person A may need to provide important information to Person B because Person B needs to take it into account before making a decision.
  • Person A may need to tell Person B to contact somebody else who needs some information from them.
  • Person A informs Person B of a problem that Person B needs to be aware of.
  • Person A needs to make a case or proposal to Person B.
  • Person A presents a set of ideas to Person B in a report or other form of presentation on some topic of interest to Person B.
  • Person B provides Person A with feedback about the quality of a presentation, questions of detail, suggestions for improvement, or requests for clarification.

For organisations to work, people have to be cooperative. The best teamwork arises when everyone in the team understands what their teammates have to do and what information they need in order to do it. Then can help one another.

In the above cases, it is easy to see that if a person withholds information from a colleague, the colleague’s performance is jeopardised.

Some people withhold important information from colleagues because they want to expose them. This can happen on courses and it can happen in jobs — unfortunately a fact of life. You need to find ways of working collaboratively with people so they recognise the importance of sharing.

If people fail to communicate things accurately and reliably then the business of the organisation might not get done.

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