Communication

One of the most important forms of communication is writing.

Expressing our confidence in a given piece of knowledge helps with decision making. It also opens the door for others to challenge our beliefs so that they do not feel that they are making you 100% wrong1. Expressing confidence also allows others to evaluate the information without treating it as true initially. This helps break the cycle for them of motivated reasoning by never allowing it to start.

Counter-intuitively expressing confidence alongside facts can also increase trust in the speaker because it signals that they are trying to tell the truth, that they considered the quantity and quality of information. That they are thoughtful and self-aware1.

Storytelling is an important part of selling an idea. When trying to build broad consensus for an idea, sell bottom-up and top-down with your storytelling 2.

Communication occuRs in the white space, rather than the dictated vertical lines of an org chart, across teams and amongst peers 3.

The Pinocchio Effect Presentations Negotiation Public Speaking

Useful tools in communication:

Meetings work

Meetings are dreaded and ubiquitous, however they are essential for coordinating groups. They serve as a way of conveying culture.

Meeting Prep

  • What outcome do I want?
  • What obstacles might I encounter in this meeting?
  • How can I overcome those obstacles?4

Types of meetings5

  • Information sharing and Q&A
  • Decision making
  • Achieving Alignment
  • Discuss ideas and feedback, i.e. “brain storming”

Process

Meta

Schedule hygiene is important part of avoiding burn out and Zoom fatigue. While a company wide meeting purge may be though to implement, you can at least do regular audits of your reoccurring meetings and opt-out of those that are no longer relevant to you. Do not schedule in the standard increments of 00 or 30. Scheduling 05 or 35 gives you time to context switch and prepare for the meeting. Also do not feel wedded to the increment of 30 mins or 60 mins. If you schedule the meeting for 45 minutes or 20 minutes, will the outcome change6?

Before the meeting

Decide if this needs to be a meeting at all, consider written forms of communication. Perhaps documentation first as it will serve a wider audience, email where nuance is key, chat where speed is key. Use the POST framework to develop a meaningful agenda.

  • Post Framework

    For each calendar invite outline the following7: Purpose Outcome Structure Timing

  • Timing

    Consider starting on the :05 and :35 to give time for others to switch from their previous meeting. Consider keeping your timing under a half hour / hour5.

  • Pre-reads

    Send any pre-reads 24 hours before the meetings

    • TODO my process on pre-reads

During the meeting

The leader should introduce the topic/goal, along with giving time for introducing unknown participants

  • Note taking

    • Key ideas, Action items

Post meeting

  • Send out summary of points from the agenda, action items, and additional ideas

Communication Antipatterns


References

1.
2.
Tse, M. & Rubick, J. How to influence without authority. at https://medium.com/atlassian-product-management-blog/how-to-influence-without-authority-4622ad7d52c9 (2020).
3.
DeMarco, T. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. (Currency, New York; London, 2002).
4.
Shreyas Doshi. How to incorporate meeting prep into your daily work routine. at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaZS5HGFmIY (2023).
5.
Yeung, A. How to run a meeting. at https://www.andrew.today/p/how-to-run-a-meeting (2021).
6.
Turner, J. Back-To-Back Meetings Create an Illusion of Productivity Why The Best Leaders Keep an Empty. Illumination at https://medium.com/illumination/back-to-back-meetings-create-an-illusion-of-productivity-why-the-best-leaders-keep-an-empty-adbb02abdc0f (2022).
7.