Communication Efforts Are Like Diets

This blog was originally posted on Medium.

It’s been a while since I blogged (more on that coming soon). I had a thought on the train to work recently when I heard all the people around me talking about the diets they had tried since Christmas “communication efforts are like diets”.

Some of the things I heard:

“I tried this and it worked for me so it HAS to work for you”

“I tried this and saw no difference after two weeks so I gave up”

“If you’d just give up everything you normally do, try this new way and it is sure to work”

“You need to be in it for the long haul or you won’t see a difference”

Go back through that list and imagine it’s a room (or train) full of people giving you advice about how to improve communication in your organisation. They really can apply to both. What works for one organisation or even a group within an organisation might not necessarily work for another.

Some places might need a long term plan to tackle problems. Other places might benefit from a quick fix. Similarly to diets you need to think about what’s best for you and your situation.

The only piece of advice I like when it comes to diets and exercise is “make it fun”. If something is really awful to do are you likely to stick with it? Probably not! When someone tells me a diet plan I usually think about how I can work cake into it at least once a week.