Communication tools

It’s all great that companies have so many ways to communicate, share information, ask and answer questions nowadays. But as it’s often the case, new tools don’t fix old issues.

Like assuming that communication happened just because you have communicated something.

Like expecting an immediate answer to trivial or unimportant questions to placate your anxiety.

Like spreading information left and right with the hope that those who need it will get it and absorb it, while others will forget about it.

Communication is a skill and it needs old-fashioned training, not new tools.

Too detailed

Check the specifics and stress over the big picture.

Too often we instead stress over the specifics and don’t even pay attention to the big picture.

One example: check business metrics weekly, even daily, and do it in a way that informs the steps to take next week, next month, not today. Report business metrics quarterly, and do it in a way that links them to a clear, overarching business strategy. Stress only if the quarterly numbers consistently miss the mark, and do it in a way that informs a new strategy.

Risk and reward

Some people do good work. Some people do poor work. Most people do average work.

And the reasons for that are two: risk aversion and reward seeking.

To do good work, you need to be able to deviate from the norm, find new ways, expand the possibilities. In most organizations, this is a risk, and most people prefer not to take it.

To do good work, you also need to be rewarded and recognized for both the success and the failure. In most organizations, average gets rewarded, and most people adapt.

If you are designing how your team will work, keep in mind risk aversion and reward seeking. And remember that if you do what everybody else is used to do, you (and your team) will probably fall in the middle.

The next meeting

The outcome of your next meeting is going to be dependent on the following much more than it will be on your communication and argumentation skills.

  • Whether you are usually the one who gives others work to do or the one who takes work away from other people’s shoulders.
  • Whether you are usually the one who points fingers and assigns responsibilities or the one who brings others together to find a solution.
  • Whether you are usually the one who gossips behind other people’s back or the one who stops a gossip the first time they hear it.
  • Whether you are usually the one who does things at their own terms informing as little people as possible or the one who seeks involvement and promotes open communication.
  • Whether you are usually the one who is close to any type of feedback or criticism or the one who appreciates other people’s input and improves based on that.

Superpowers

Three superpowers that are underestimated and that will get you through most things in life more easily. Plus, a tip on how to train them.

  1. Patience, that is the superpower to give things and people their time, without imposing your view or trying to bend them. You can train this with meditation.
  2. Listening, that is the ability to sit down in a conversation without thinking at what you will say or do next. You can train this by learning about coaching.
  3. Consistence, that is the ability to show up every day, even when no one is watching you or holding you accountable. You can train this with journaling.