🗣️ Communication

Updated at 2018-01-15 13:06

This note is about distributing knowledge inside a team or the whole company.

Get people to talk. Talk less, listen more and ask questions. Encourage open dialogue and listen to the issues people have. Write any problems down and try to solve them. Especially focus on solving any personal level conflicts.

Avoid repetition. Communication should be as direct and concrete as possible. If you find yourself explaining same thing again and again, write it down somewhere easily available or figure a better way to explain it.

Communicate firmly to your team. You must be specific on the work tasks you assign, but leave room for creative freedom. Management does not need to know what everyone is specifically doing but should know on what task everyone is working on.

Make people sit per project. People who work closely together should sit together. It could even be wise to invest in movable tables if that is an issue. Avoid having all designer in the same place.

# Bad
Area 1:  3 Managers
Area 2:  4 Designers
Area 3: 10 Engineers

# Good
Area 1: 1 Manager, 1 Designer, 3 Engineers
Area 2: 1 Manager, 1 Designer, 2 Engineers
Area 3: 1 Manager, 2 Designer, 5 Engineers

Have a knowledge caretaker. For example, if you plan on having a wiki to share knowledge, appoint a person that keeps an eye out that the wiki is up to date and instructs people to update their materials if they get out of date.

Checklists are a good way of communication. Checklists are great way to reduce general errors. But only if checklists are short, simple and easily available.

Written communication is frequently different for men and women.

  • Men like to share knowledge, women like to build relationships.
  • Men like to argue and state facts, women like to propose things.
  • Men see politeness as censorship, women expect people to be polite.
  • Men like conflict, women like co-operation.

Miscommunication can lead to catastrophes.

Wars in 16th century were against enemies right across or insider your borders. The bloodiest war though was what Spanish conquistadors did to the Aztecs. Word-by-word translation failed miserably because of multiple layers of translation and usage of royal dialect of Montezuma. This resulted in 20 million Aztecs dead.