Wednesday, 25 February 2009

When personal communication hinders the spread of messages

I've been on the receiving end of a flurry of emails this week. My curiosity is piqued by what looks like an outbreak of "on behalf of" emails. I'm presuming the individuals concerned are either too important or too busy to send out an email in their own name. Instead, they come from someone else "on behalf" of the other person. Some of these emails have included a call to action, a request for me to do something, a suggestion etc. I am differentiating these from my regular dealings with P.A.'s and other support staff.

I'm only a sample size of one on this topic, however, the impact on me is to view the requests lightly and with little priority. I'm less likely to act on them than on other more personal pleas and requests.

For me, the personal connection has been lost. I know my behaviour is more influenced by the person/s directly, rather than by the person who is acting on their behalf. Much of the opinion leader literature is awash with evidence and ideas on how crucial this personal link is in influencing others, especially when behaviour change or commitment is required.

When the theory of spreading good practice and large scale change meets the practicalities of real life we depend on a communication process designed to connect, compell and commit.

Let's get personal.

1 comment:

Joel McKay said...

Great article, it is amazing how many people are so poor at the skill of communication. Keep up the good work.
Check out for more ideas on personal communication and growth.