In my contemporary drama class this week, we were discussing George Bernard Shaw, the Irish playwright. My professor had shared with us some of his quotes, so I decided to look up a few more when I got home that evening. I found one that really stuck out to me.
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. -George Bernard Shaw
This quote stood out to me, and it even made me laugh. I've learned that when it comes to communication, a lot of assuming can take place. I can't count the number of times when I've experienced instances while working in the Media Center when I've thought I've properly communicated with others but actual communication never really took place—just the illusion of it. I've also been on the receiving end of this illusion of communication.
Typically, the illusion arises from people believing that they've properly communicated their point to those around them whether they're reporters, anchors, or other producers.
The best lesson I've gained from working in the Media Center, but producing specifically, is the power of intentional communication.
It's one thing to just tell other people what do to. It's a whole other thing to actually communicate to people what you would like them to do. That's what intentional communication is.
In my two times as lead producer, I learned that it is completely worth the extra minute or two it takes to clearly explain something rather than to just tell someone something in passing. By clearly communicating with those you work with, the chances that whatever you're asking them to do will actually get done.
While it may be a bit more time-consuming, and it seems as a producer you have no time, you should always make time to properly communicate with those around you.
Clear lines of communication allow for a newsroom to run efficiently, removing the mere illusion of communication. When the clock hits 6:00:00 and you go live, you'll be thankful for the extra time you spent earlier in the day communicating with those around you.