Communication – We All Suck

Ok – I know the title of this blog is a bit harsh, but it’s true, and you know it as well as I do. And I am not excluding myself here. I try really, really hard to not suck (as Joe Maddon, Cubs manager, used to say), but I do on a regular basis. Maybe I should start the first chapter as Avoiding Communication Anonymous or something. “My name is _______, and I suck at communication” would be the introduction for everyone.

Anyway, I digress. But here’s the deal:

  • Customers don’t respond
  • Vendors don’t respond
  • Your manager may, or may not respond
  • Colleagues sometimes respond – sometimes not
  • Recruiters or anyone in the hiring process – NOT
  • Family responds when it’s convenient
  • Texts are ignored
  • Most people turn off the “read receipt” setting on their phone
  • People are afraid to “share” on Facebook or “retweet” on Twitter
  • Friends maybe usually respond – maybe not – depends
  • Spouses? Well, sometimes – maybe – depends on the day
  • Who the heck answers their phone anymore?
  • How many times have you ignored a call or sent them to voice mail because you were “in a meeting”?
  • Unread or not, how many emails do you have piled in your inbox that you are ignoring for whatever reason
  • Do you ever comment or respond to things on social media, or are you a “serial reader” and never engage?

You get the point, and I’m guessing you can relate to many or all of these. So what’s the deal? Pardon my “French”, but WTF is wrong with everyone?!

I’d like to blame it on too much communication, but that’s too easy – just an excuse that we all use. We all get too much so just tune it out. I’m sorry, but I’m calling BS on that one. We “choose” to tune it out – period.

Is it quality of communication? Method? Style? Content?

Maybe it’s all of that.

My guess, however, is that it’s more that any of that. We seem to have developed a culture where lack of communication is somehow tolerated. It’s not quite acceptable, as it annoys just about everyone I talk to, but for whatever reason, we continue to tolerate it.


With the zillion of methods of communication we have, how could it possibly be even remotely acceptable to flat out ignore someone. Especially a colleague, customer, manager, or family member? Why does that border on “OK”?!

I don’t have answers here – I’m not leading up to the magic answer in this blog. I’m simply asking the question:




I would love, love, love your feedback and commentary on this one. Truly. For my own sanity.

Help a brother out!