In the previous One Minute Tip we covered one of the three key skills of remote work, namely to communicate well in short chunks of writing.

We ended that tip with the statement that good communication is CCMconcreteconcise and meaningful.

Now we will make that tip more concrete.

My favorite ways to make communication more concrete are:


1) Show, don’t tell (covered in the very first One Minute Tip):

  • in meetings: whenever you talk about something — share your screen and show it, if it doesn’t exist yet — create it (at least give it a name and address and some initial notes to be developed later),
  • in text: whenever you mention something — link to it.

2) If the communication is related to some kind of action or event — make sure there are clear answers to the five core journalistic questionsWho? What? When? Where?and Why? (for what purpose) as well as the bonus question How?

Start with the top 3: Who? What? When?

Make it a habit.

Who, What, When

WhoWhatWhen

WHO WHAT WHEN

Not all communication requires this level of concreteness,

but if it’s missing

don’t expect conrete results.


3) “When in doubt spell it out!

If you’re responsible for the work of more than one person you’re better off erring on the side of caution and over-communicating.

Make references concrete.

Explicit is better than implicit.

Perhaps even say the same thing in a few different ways.

Here’s what I mean:

bad: “let’s learn to communicate better” (everyone agrees, and likely nothing will happen)

better: “let’s practice communicating better with short chunks of writing this Friday at 3pm on Zoom” (concrete who, what, when / people might not be interested but at least it will be clear)

best: “let’s practice communicating better with short chunks of writing this Friday at 3pm on Zoom” (who what when & a link to more information for the people who want it)

Try it!

PS. Next tip will be about how to make your communication concise.

PPS. If you like this series of tips, please share it with someone who might like it too!

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