*shotgun communication*
By: AFarmer
28 December 2004

Is it possible to miss your target when using a shotgun? Not very likely.

I believe it was a hunter then, who initiated “shotgun communications.”

It has been my experience that people tend to do as little as possible for the broadest result. It’s human nature to find shortcuts. Unfortunately, the use of the “shotgun communication” is not an effective means of conveying a message when one, or just a few, are the target recipients in a group. Managers, in particular are guilty of abusing this method of communication. Regardless of the message, there will always be those few in the group who aren’t sure who the message was really aimed at and may wonder what they did wrong. Equally normal is that the individual the statement was intended to reach won’t get it.

In recent months, the shotgun method of communication was used in the office where I work. The briefing on the day after a VIP tour, the manager made a blanket statement to please remember to be subtle when doing things “to kill time” between calls. I was aware of dispatchers reading a book, playing computer solitaire and even I was using the company computer to draw sketches of how I want my Maine homestead to look when everything is said and done. I certainly made every effort to conceal the fact I was doodling on the computer when someone was nearby – had I failed?

The briefing room fell silent and it seemed apparent to me that I was not the only one in the dark as to what had been seen the previous day by the tour. I broke the silence and asked. From the blank looks on several other faces, it was apparent I wasn’t the only one in the dark. The activity that was objectionable had been a board game on the other side of the room.

In the routine of everyday living, I don’t see how this is a critical issue. But, in a post SHTF world, clarity in all communications should be as essential as water in the BOB. Confusion should not be an option. JMO

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