Scenario: your team is assigned an article for a client due in one week. You’re good at writing, so you knock out the writing requirements. You then send it to your editor, who knocks out the editing. Now it just needs to be beautified, so it’s off to the graphic designer.
Then it sits with them. Despite your efforts to contact them, the due date rolls around and the client fires you… all because of one person.
In a business setting, communication ties in with iteration. That’s why they’re part of the same concept. You can’t coordinate without communication. As elementary as this seems, it’s still a big reason projects drop and clients end up becoming dissatisfied.
With that in mind, here’s a simple set of strategies that may help you break down the communication barrier:
- Better to get stuff out that is decent than delay and not ever post.
- Put together a simple framework on how to communicate– whether it’s replying to an email, attending a meeting, writing an article, or whatever.
- No fear = no procrastination.
- Learn how to manage your email/schedule.
- Consider the importance of iteration and how basic communication (even saying “I don’t know”) is the easiest way to avoid failure from lack of response.
- Always tell others what you are doing when asked. Post your work, and pass it off if you can’t finish it.
- Don’t get caught up in the details of planning so much that you fail to execute.
- Do, Delegate, Delete (DDD). Either do it or pass it off, and then delete it. Don’t save it for later when you see it. This breeds procrastination, and as more things shovel in on you, it will slide further back and languish.
As elementary as these tips may seem, it’s failure to implement such practices that results in failure to succeed. In fact, because they’re so elementary, people tend to think they don’t need to put them into practice because they’re already “second-nature” to them.
That’s not the case.
“In sports, they always preach the importance of mastering the fundamentals. Any team working
together on a project should operate by this same principle. Being a good communicator might seem simple, but I’m constantly surprised how often problems boil back down to someone’s inability to communicate effectively.”
The more people and more steps you have in a process, the greater the risk of failure. When the “weakest link” doesn’t do their part, they ruin it for the team.
Having you and your team consciously practice good communication will gradually transform your setbacks into desired results.
About the Author
You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.
You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.