This past summer while on an international assignment, the teams I worked with used some good “words” to help clarify and communicate more effectively. Specifically, there were three effective communication strategies I saw employed:
- “Socialize“: Whenever there was a new thought or idea, the team talked about “socializing the idea”. This meant for people to discuss, debate, expose people to the thought, and work together to internalize the idea.
- “Talking past each other“: Like calling a time out, either person or even someone listening would say “I think we are talking past each other”. It meant we are not talking about the same thing, or we are not getting anywhere understanding each other. It meant it was time to reset the conversation so understanding and communication could take place.
- “My ask“: Teams succeed by everyone throwing into the conversation, chewing on the options, and talking through the “what ifs”. However, sometimes the team can lose the summary, and/or not understand what the request was instead of what the suggestions or brain storming were. By summarizing the conversation by saying, “The ask is…” clears the path to know just what exactly is being sought. Clarifying by using the words, “My ask is” can be a good way to summarize and ensure something needed is not lost in the conversation.
Communication is necessary for success in any environment or initiative. I saw people using these phrases firsthand – and they were very successful in getting the team moving in the same direction.