Growing up in Austin in the ‘60s, we spent summer mornings gathered at the athletic field playing baseball. Home runs showed up often in those days and usually happened something like this: ball is hit to the shortstop, bobbled several times, followed by a wild throw over the 1st baseman’s head. The right fielder grabs it and throws it over the 3rd basemen’s head. The team at-bat then celebrated as the batter crossed home plate before marking HR on the manila-colored scorecard. For pitchers, this was especially brutal as you watched simple ground balls compound into runs.
Compounding is a force that can take either a positive or negative trajectory. If we are what we repeatedly do, then constructively candid communication is a habit that compounds positively only when we consistently focus on sound fundamentals. Doing it right takes awareness and discipline.
Good fundamentals include communicating with congruence–making sure your words align with your thoughts and feelings–and accurately communicating your priorities. Good fundamentals also mean your communication evolves, that is, you reach conclusions and limit rehashing things already decided.
Some things to consider.
Look at your communication on a continuum. Add milestones and objectives to increase velocity. Where did you start, where are you now and where are you headed?
Slow down to go faster. When you discuss your biggest priorities, supplement your team communications with one-on-one conversations. These meetings will slow you down short-term, but will help you gain buy-in and valuable input in the long-term. By slowing down, you will increase your actual velocity.
Fix it. When you sense you are not on the same page with someone, don’t wait, go back and fix it immediately.
Let me know if you have any unique ways to ensure your communication compounds positivity.