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    Entries in communication (31)

    Monday
    May132019

    You will need all types

    You might like tables and spreadsheets, but other people don’t.

    We often default to our preferred way of communicating to influence, engage and bring people up to speed. But the problem is, it’s our default… not theirs. While we’re banging on with our information in ways that work for us, they’re sitting there going, ‘What the? Huh? Don’t get it yet.’

    In this world of cultural and linguistic diversity, and different ways of processing information, it serves us and them to pause before barrelling on with information.

    Thinking of your audience first can sound a bit cliched; it's often overlooked; we hope people will just ‘get it’.

    We must put information in ways, packages and modes that work for diversity.

    ๐ŸŽ So your spreadsheet, if you love it, may not work for others.

    ๐ŸŠYour list of dot points, that you love, may not work for others.

    ๐Ÿ‰ Your stories, may not work for others.

    ๐Ÿ‹ Your imagery, may not work for others.

    We need it all. Skim, step and fly across all of these styles. Heartfelt stories, captivating and clear imagery, meaningful data, useful lists. Don’t dwell anywhere, in any one sphere for too long. Bob across all types. Suspend the default.

    What's your preferred type of comms? 

    Thursday
    Apr252019

    The 4 words that show no - or low - empathy

    We know that empathy is a key way to build connections with people, deepen a conversation and strengthen trust. But I wonder ...do we too often confuse similarity for empathy?

    When someone shares a story or situation with you, and you’ve experienced it too, what do you say?

    We can too often rush in to sharing our story, our experience and our situation...because it’s happened to us too! Sharing similarities, finding common ground - sure, yes it builds rapport, connection. But don’t kill the opportunity for deeper connection and empathy in the rush to say your bit.

    These four words can kill empathy dead :

    Been There Done That.

    If you think it helps people feel better that you’ve done it too... pause...because it may not. That’s because it’s not validating their story or their situation they’ve just shared. It’s switched the focus to you.

    Empathy is not about being better, bigger, quicker, cleverer, the ‘winner’ or having done it or experienced it before them. Quieten down. Listen. Respond to what they’re saying without making it about you.

    Thursday
    Apr252019

    A real shortcut or perceived? 

    I went into a restaurant last night and the waiter said ‘One’, with a finger in the air like ’table for 1’; without seeing my response he took a menu, directed me to a table. ‘I’m here to collect a takeaway order’, I said.

    He took me to the counter, handed me the takeaway menu, opening it and pointing at all the tasty choices. ‘Thank you. I’ve already ordered via phone so I’m here to pick up.’ ‘Oh, of course’, he said.

    Three assumptions: Dining in, dining alone, need to order.

    We can see a lot of the same kinds of situations at work which can lead us to the perceived shortcut of assumptions. It’s more effective and human to pause assumption and go with what people present you with, what the need is right here, right now.

    This is relevant for leaders in conversations, meetings and workshops.

    Don’t assume people will move or change at the time, speed or direction you want. That’s an old outdated mindset of control. Rather meet them where they are and go from there.

    This is the newer mindset of facilitation. Contemporary, collaborative and effective, the Leader as a Facilitator. Give a like below; what's your experience with assumptions.. or takeaway?

    Thursday
    Apr252019

    'Any old map will do' 

    I wrote earlier about sensemaking and how we need it to collaborate, make decisions and make progress. How do we ‘make sense’, particularly in a group? Currently, we sit around a table, look at each other and talk at each other. It’s so verbal. Blah blah and blah, and some more blah blah. We’re trying to explain things, influence, persuade, educate, inform, involve and engage.

    All of that with words? That’s a big ask of any words coming out of our mouth to achieve.

    As if we should all be famous orators, preachers and inspirers! But some of us aren’t. And it can be unsafe in some workplaces to even open your mouth to put forward your thoughts. For making sense, you don’t need fancy drawing skills. You need a map.

    Thanks to Sensemaking guru Dr Karl Weick’s advice, ‘any old map will do.’ You see, a map provides us with a point of reference, a starting point. To start to make sense, get some of the information - words, shapes, ideas - onto something map-ish; a note pad, tablet, white board, flip chart.

    It need not be pretty. It needs only to be practical. It’s a starting point after all.

    Thursday
    Apr252019

    Do you trust yourself?

    In this era of swift delivery to market, rapid change and mega transformations, how do we respond in ways that build TRUST in a team, unit, project or enterprise? At the heart of trust is you, me, us.

    The question I think of in building trust is “Do you trust yourself?” Do you trust your ideas, your intuition, your actions, your capabilities?

    I’ll be speaking at hashtag#ITARC19 in Stockholm in May 2019; it's the 12th year of Sweden’s largest conference for IT architects. This year, the theme of the conference is ’trust’.

    Over 2 days, we will look at trust from different angles: a day of conference; then a day of in-depth workshops. My keynote on Day 1 will be ‘Do you trust yourself?’ Then I’ll deliver a workshop on Day 2 on ‘Cognitive Load Coping' - how to handle all of the information that flows to us and around us, how to cope with and counter information overload or that feeling of information overwhelm.

    So what are your thoughts: Do you trust yourself?