How to deal with those communication ‘dabblers’

Everyone might think they could do your job, but could they do it well? Here’s how to establish your authority among skeptical colleagues who know less than they think.

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We are rerunning the most-viewed articles of 2019. This was one of the top five most-popular internal communication articles of the year.

It’s not easy working a job that everyone thinks they could do.

Of course, anyone can communicate, but few can do it well.

Seth Godin, in a post titled “Nobody dabbles at dentistry,” writes:

“It’s difficult to find your footing when you’re a logo designer, a comedian or a project manager. Because these are gigs that many people think they can do, at least a little bit.”

This smacks of the perennial gripe we communicators have: Everyone thinks they can “do communications.” Obviously, there are many communication functions that our non-comms colleagues could do quite well. Problems arise when those without communication skills, savvy, training and experience decide to ignore good advice—or when they try to “dabble” a bit too much.

Here are three common interactions with rogue “dabblers” that might sound familiar:

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