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#Effective Communication


Prepare the conversation.

  • Why are we having this conversation?
    Your time is valuable, other people's time is valuable. If you need to use this time, the least you can do is to prepare it. Things such as "what do you want to achieve?", "What info you need to give?", and all following...
  • What do you expect from the meeting?
    How many times do you go to a meeting without thinking what's the outcome you want from it?
  • Try to understand the audience.:
    • How can I get to my audience better?.
    • What they need to listen to see it how I see it?.
    • How can they be more open to my request? .
    • What can I offer?.
    • Try to anticipate their pain points.
      For example, are they reluctant about your team changing the codebase?. Maybe it’s because every time that happens, they have to maintain the code afterward.
    • Structure the conversation taking into account those pain points.
  • Structure the problem:
    • Give context.
      What brought you here? What are you working on?. For example:
      We are the X team and we're trying to improve the performance of the component Y. That's why we need to change...
    • Explain the problem you’re trying to solve.
    • Explain your solution.

Tips:

  • Be nice, polite.
  • Ask for help instead of demanding it and don't forget to help back!
    For example. Do you post in slack/stackoverflow only to ask for help?  If you get the answer somewhere else do you reply with it? or worst you never help anyone.
  • Don’t use over-complicated terms. Explain clearly >> Sound smart.
  • There is no such a thing as common sense.
  • Assume good intentions.
  • Listen.
    Listen actively. We normally pretend to be listeing when what we are actually doing is thinking how to reply to win the argument.
  • Don’t talk over people.
    Again listen actively, don't interrupt people, let them explain.
  • Always keep in mind your goal, so steer the conversation in that direction. It's super easy to derail a conversation. Keep always in mind why you are here, your goal.
  • Keep the conversation simple.
    Don't jump to a different problem until you've finished the one at hand.
  • Summarise the conversation.
    Don't assume everyone has understood the message or conversation.
  • Be thankful.

Mental models for communication ( conflicts).

  • HALT (Hungry, Angry, Lonely (or Lost), and Tired).
    Be aware of your feelings before anything. Answering an email, a meeting...
  • Interest vs Position.
    Understanding people’s interests (what really matters), as opposed to their positions (how they think they are going to get what really matters) An example
  • Most respectful interpretation.
  • What, so what, now what?.
  • Hanlon’s razor.
    "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity"
    That email that you didn't receive?. It's more likely that someone forgot to reply than they did it consciously.
  • Third story.
  • Rhetorical Triangle
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