Communication

May 21, 2013
post startup

When starting a company there is a lot of stuff that needs to be looked at. There are lots of things that need your attention and many things will not be talked about because there is simply no time for it. This can very easily lead to a habit of not communicating with everyone in the team. Another frequent problem is that from your own point of view a lot of things are very obvious and you just can’t understand how someone in your team can’t see it.

If left untreated this will become a big ugly scar and can break successful teams over time. Communication is a tricky thing, it needs a lot of attention to detail and needs a lot of time to get right. Every new addition to your team will change communication and will need new ways of communication. The one thing that is the most tricky is understanding and always coming back to the fact that we are all human, we make errors and it is often hard to talk with someone who you think is in the wrong.

I always try to address communication issues by asking myself what can I do to fix this, what can I do to address a lack of communication. I always try to be the one initiating the conversation again after something went wrong or something did not work out the way we planned. Communication is key, keep it up, talk to each other, always.

Another important thing is language. Make sure you phrase things in a positive way, negative feedback often alienates people and drives them into defensive behaviour, the opposite of what you need to solve a communication problem. This needs practice as we normally give bad feedback to people that make errors, rethink this habit and try to give encouraging feedback that helps them do it better the next time.