As humans, we are meaning-making individuals. Our brains need to make meaning out of what we hear and see. We also make meaning out of a lack of information.

For example, you send an email requesting a reply from a co-worker and the day progresses without hearing from her. What story do you create?

It might be, “oh, she must be really busy.” Or, you might think, “she’s upset with me.”

Or, your story might be something entirely different. Our stories are highly dependent on our perspective and our experience. In the end, we all create stories.

What happens when there’s a lack of information

As leaders, you are privy to more information than your direct reports. You get updates on policy changes, organization shifts, people news in meetings, or other communication. It’s up to you to pass on the information to your direct reports. But you are busy.

You aren’t always able to deliver information timely, especially when you are in back-to-back meetings throughout the day.

I encourage you to ask what information/communication my team is waiting on. How might the information I just learned impact my team?

You aren’t always able to tell your team all the information you receive, but consider what you can share.

Also, think about the stress you may inadvertently create by not sharing information. Again. You are in the know. You have additional information. They don’t.

The information you learned may be positive, but if your team doesn’t know, they might anticipate the worst-case scenario. Your team’s stories can impact productivity, engagement, and emotional health.

Less information can mean less productivity

Consider how you can communicate to lessen the number of unproductive stories that are created on your team when there is a lack of information. What expectations can you set in advance? What methods will work for your team? Are there individuals on the team who need a slightly different approach?

This likely isn’t a considerable behavior shift for you and can easily be implemented.

To start, simply remembering to take the perspective of your team members will help you keep them looped in more consistently. 

How can I help? Let’s start with a consultation!