I have over the years spent a lot of time posting communications patterns and anti-patterns (a pattern is a repeatable process, an anti-pattern is ultimately a one-off process (not repeatable). During that time I have met a lot of people, and I’ve added so many different patterns and anti-patterns that I could probably write a book. People have a view sometimes of IT people as the traditional “geek,” struggling to talk to people or make eye contact. While that is certainly something that you can find in any IT shop, you can find that in any business regardless of which group you are talking to or with. The inability to speak isn’t an IT-only problem.
Why do we care about how people communicate? Well, the easy button answer for that is that we all have to communicate. In communicating, we run into the good and bad communications styles of the people we work with and around. What is most important in considering communication is the reality of personal style. My grandfather always told me “we hate most in others the things we hate most in ourselves.” When it is something we don’t like about ourselves accepting it from others is difficult.
That said I am not introducing a new style or pattern today just talking about the reality of communication. Sometimes in the course of our days, we don’t get to choose who we talk to, we also don’t get to choose the interaction. Meetings can be awful, horrifying experiences. Some of them start late, or some busy people are so overbooked that there isn’t time for them to breathe between meetings. One runs late, and everyone in the next meeting is late. I have three communication rules for meetings. The goal of today’s discussion is shared those as they impact everyone in the room when you host a meeting.
- Start the meeting on time. Period.
- Take notes, or record the meeting, make that available when the meeting is complete.
- Make sure everyone has a chance to talk.
I will share more about this!