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    10 Ways Women Business Leaders Can Combat Communication Overload

    If communication overload is keeping you from finishing your to-do list, try these 10 strategies to reduce the noise level and get back to work.

    Good communication is a key part of running a successful business. People who work in silos can’t share vital information. Changing business needs must be communicated.

    But in a recent BNET article, consultant, writer and former tech executive Steve Tobak argues that while a lack of communication venues once hampered progress, the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Now, communication overload threatens productivity. Tobak offers 10 methods women business leaders can use to combat this trend:

    1. Hold meaningful meetings: Sharpen focus by making sure every meeting has an agenda, start time and end time. Ensure every attendee has a specific purpose for being there.
    2. Form small teams: Remember that every person added to a process adds complexity and can therefore reduce overall productivity. As Tobak puts it, have fewer cats to herd.
    3. Create fewer email distribution lists: Everyone wastes time reading emails they really don’t need to see. Automatic distribution and “reply to all” are major culprits.
    4. Hold fewer meetings: Tobak warns against internal meetings to prepare for other internal meetings, “all hands” meetings and other gatherings that can waste time.
    5. Reward individual initiative: One innovative way to fight the urge to form a committee for every issue is to reward individuals who develop solutions on their own.
    6. Abandon matrix management: According to Tobak, the organizational concept doesn’t work and leads to mass confusion. He advocates abandoning it altogether.
    7. Avoid management fads: Management fads rise and fall like hemlines, but one thing they have in common is that they tend to result in many meetings. Tobak advises against them.
    8. Delegate: It’s tempting to want to be involved and stay informed. But sometimes assigning responsibility and walking away achieves the best outcomes. Avoid micromanagement.
    9. Assess ROI: New communications tools can be tempting to use just for the novelty. However, if the ROI isn’t clear, it’s best to avoid them.
    10. Don’t forget the importance of time: In a very real sense, time is everyone’s most important asset. Make sure you use it wisely.

    As a woman business leader, ensuring efficient communication is a major part of your job. Consider these strategies to create optimal communication levels and to make sure your most precious resource – your time – is managed wisely.

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