Let me start with the joke:
The husband is the last person who was informed about wife’s adultery.
Let’s be frank, in case of work each of us was such a “husband”. Doesn’t matter if you are a manager or employee.
I don’t know how about you, but I want to prevent such problems 😉
So what I really want to say?
Large number of critical problems of the company or team can be prevented by improving of communications.
It looks like general words, but what really should be improved?
If we’re talking about communication you need to have a way to communicate 😉 – communication channels.
Setup communication channels.
Just do it! You’ll be surprised what kind of “fish”
There’re many options to use: Regular meetings with the management, visiting a pub with the team, face-to-face meeting with team members etc.
Let me continue the analogy with fishing: communication channels will work as “nets”. They will catch important information about the problem before it will bite you.
Like in fishing, to catch important information you should be patient: you need to make communication channels work not from time to time but on regular basis!
Communication channels should work on regular basis.
Yep, it needs efforts, but only in this case you’ll have notable results.
One more point: channel should work in both directions. You need to have the ability to contact all needed persons. Nothing should disturb them to provide information to you.
It should be easy to communicate in both directions.
From my experience, to make it work you need to build quite informal, positive relationships. Try to allocate time to persons if they want to talk. Don’t be like “always-busy man”.
A little informality in communication makes it more humane and open.
So what to choose?
For the specific fish
problem, you need to have a special net communication channel.
I suggest to start with the well-known channels (they can be used together):
- Message-oriented channels (i.e. skype groups, project mailboxes, company newsletters) – to get/send information. This channels can be used as the basis for other types.
- Group meetings (Skype call with the project team, etc) – to detect the problem and get an overview
- Meeting in person (Performance review meeting, progress check etc)- to understand the problem and get a personal vision of the situation.
- Informal meeting (i.e. barbeque, drinking beer in pub etc) – to understand roots of the problem.
Let’s select something and make it regular!
Last note for the case if you’ve supervisor, but there is no communication channel between you.
If you want to avoid the situation when after a long time manager will inform you that he is not satisfied with your work and you’re fired:
Doesn’t hesitate to ask your manager for a regular meeting with you.
The supervisor will share his concerns before they become fatal for you. On another hand, It will help you to share your problems and achievements!
Ok, let’s stop to talk and start the fishing 😉