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    Entries in engagement (34)

    Monday
    Jun032019

    Get the third point happening.

    'Get the third point happening,’ I said.

    'The third what?,’ they asked.

    'The third point of communication.’

    ‘Ok, like three dots?' they asked.

    ’Not quite. It’s like this…’ and I sketched out the triangle in this picture. 1 & 2.

    You see, looking and talking with someone else is your first and second point of communication. And usually that’s where meetings and conversations seem to stop. Just you talking to them. Them talking to you.

    How about this? 3. Bring in a third point of communication and you’re really communicating! There is an opportunity for quality sensemaking now.  

    With the third point of communication, now you can go deeper on the content and be more objective. It's great news for people who might feel awkward, anxious or uncomfortable in some meetings and conversations. (All that eye contact!) Adding in the third point, a visual, references the information you’re working on. Now you’re really making sense. 

    Tuesday
    May142019

    Beware the thieves of clarity

    Are you tuned in to what steals clarity in your team, unit or organisation?

    Is it meetings?

    Lengthy reports?

    Status updates?

    Decks and presentations with complicated models, too much text, too many chevrons, arrows and ‘pillars’ or icebergs? ๐Ÿ˜œ

    The race is on for meaning and understanding. The sooner we understand, the sooner we can make decisions, get into action and get feedback and insights on that action.

    But how much might we hiding behind work, tasks and activities that actually steal clarity, create ambiguity and generate more confusion? Do we busy ourselves working on stuff that doesn’t really support clarity … but rather steals it?

    In this complex world, it’s better to be known for being able to cut through and get to clarity; not overly simplified, not dumbed down … just c-l-e-a-r. Today, be on the look out for the thieves of clarity. Don’t let them get away with it. Bring it back, hold onto it, keep it together because other people in the room, in the team, across the organisation need you to … stand up for clarity.

    What do you see that steals clarity and understanding in your world of work?

    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

    Outside, inside then outside again. 

    Working at a client business recently, we were talking about the swing that happens through the IN and OUT door. First it’s ‘we need consultants’, then it’s ‘we’re spending too much on consultants… we need to bring these services in-house’ and then it swings back to ‘we need consultants working on this’.

    Have you noticed how the pendulum or swing does indeed swing? Sometimes a team gains support, insight and advice from external sources. It adds to their learning, broadens exposure to information and likely helps them get sh*t done more rapidly.

    But then someone queries the cost and wonders about the value received. ‘We can’t be spending THAT much on those consultants!’ Next thing, the recruitment ads go live and the company is now recruiting for a range of in-house roles.

    Have you noticed how team composition changes - from engaging consultants and external providers and then the shift to having people full time on the team … and back again?

    Have you gone through the IN or the OUT door recently? 

    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?