Communication usually fails, except by accident

Every time I read 37signals’ blog, I find something of value. Today they tell me about a Finnish researcher in human communication, Osmo Wiio, and his Murphy-like laws of communication.

  • If communication can fail, it will.
  • If a message can be understood in different ways, it will be understood in just that way which does the most harm.
  • There is always somebody who knows better than you what you meant by your message.
  • The more communication there is, the more difficult it is for communication to succeed.

After that, you may want to read more about Osmo Wiio.

3 Replies to “Communication usually fails, except by accident”

  1. I didn’t understand that
    I take it from this that this guy is a serial killer?
    I don’t think that guy really understood what he was talking about
    Um, haven’t really got anything for the last one….

  2. @Tim: Maybe you’d have succeeded with the last one if there’d been only three Laws? 😉

    Actually, on a serious note, I can relate to the last one from a business perspective. If I send a client “everything they need”, they read none of it anyway. So I’m only wasting my time.

  3. I agree with all four, with one caveat. The more important/urgent the information is, the harder/longer it will be to get through to people.

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