If you deviate, communicate

Everyone has had experiences where people couldn’t get done what they said they’d be able to get done in the amount of time they gave themself to do it. Sometimes people don’t fail to do the thing, but certainly don’t do a task in the timeline or manner that was expressed. This happens with everyone, including community organizers and supporters.

And of course, that can be frustrating for all involved, but there is a way to make it better. The best way to resolve such situations is by employing a simple mantra:

If you deviate, communicate.

It’s a simple statement. It’s an even simpler plan. If something isn’t going as expected, let someone involved know. If you can’t get something done, let the stakeholders know. If you’re going to complete the project but it’s going to be late, let someone know. If something goes off track let someone know. 

We all get it. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. There is nothing wrong with failure. There is something wrong with not communicating in the face of failure or change. Some folks are afraid to over-communicate, which is understandable. Sometimes, you may say more things than you wanted to, and you may feel that you have said too much. However, in such situations, communicating pro-actively is always better than not doing so.

So, in short, if you run into any roadblocks with your work as a community organizer, communicate that proactively with your stakeholders – and there is absolutely no harm in overcommunicating as well!

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