Friday, July 25, 2008

End of week and communications

Detroit Airport, Concourse AIt is the end of the week and I can see that I haven't blogged much in the last five days, although I have spend a lot of time communicating via email, telephone, social networking tools and face-to-face. I am always pleased when the communications go smoothly, like this tram that runs smoothly between the opposite ends of Concourse A at the Detroit Airport. However, little things can throw communications off-track.

Thinking back over the week, I am reminded of the questions that we need keep in mind in order to ensure that we communicate well:
  • Did you say what you mean? Eliminating jargon helps as well as stating your assumptions.
  • Did you hear what others said as well as what they meant to say? Repeating back what you heard as well as asking questions can help. I find that documenting conversations with a follow-up email can provide a good "paper" trail and also surface discrepancies.
  • Were you communicating with the correct people? If you need have decisions made, are you communicating with the person who has the authority to make the decisions? Are you communicating with people who have the most accurate information?
  • Did you keep the communications on-track and focused? Sometimes you need to go off-track, but a meeting of all off-track conversations (often called sidebars) is not an effective meeting.
  • Did you stay cool and calm? Getting angry often sidetracks communications, so staying calm can be important. That doesn't mean that you should never get angry, but you shouldn't make a habit of it.
And how have my communications been this week? Let's just say that some of the groups I'm in communicate better than others (minor derailments)! But I am always hopeful that groups can learn from their mistakes and so I believe next week will be better.

Technorati tag:

1 comment:

jge said...

I had to smile reading your post for much of it also fits for communicating with children. It's important to always remind oneself that you don't know whether you got the same framework as anyone you communicate with. It only becomes more obvious with children :-)