May 4, 2017

Chances are, you have a communication problem.

We are always trying hard to meet our deadlines, prevent delays, and get everything to go according to schedule. But the reason why we might fail at it is most likely because of lack of communication. Well, maybe not complete lack but rather “not enough of it”.

The thing is that we can’t prevent miscommunication by following the same processes that have caused it in the first place. In order to prevent miscommunication or missed calls to action, we need to change the way we do things. Not radically, but we need to try to make them more efficient.

As the product manager, it is very important that everything goes smoothly. Or at least as smooth as possible. When you have a team working to create the product, you need to make sure that all the instructions are well understood and well communicated. But in order to fix problems, you need to first understand what is causing them within your team.

Top 3 Communication fails:

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“But I thought he was on it!”

Assumptions. Assuming that someone will do a task without them openly saying so is the first step to things going wrong. Never assume that someone else will voluntarily do that task because, chances are, they too have your same thought. Unless they say so, your first assumption should be that no one is going to do what’s due. On the other hand, everyone might assume that no one will do it so they end up all taking on that one task.At the end, you’ll end up with either the same output or nothing at all! This might cause blockages across the company’s functions.That’s why, the best way to go at it is to simply make sure that a task is openly assigned to someone before moving on to the next thing.

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“Task done. What’s next?”

Once you have a task assigned to you, it’s all yours. Yours in the sense where you should treat it like it’s your baby. Meaning: you need to take care of it, make sure it has everything it needs, and most importantly, give it your all. Whether you are writing content, designing, coding, or even entering data, never do things for the sake of doing them or to just mark them as DONE. Do your task because it’s yours and it’s one of the most crucial tasks that’s keeping the company going. Make sure that its outcome is worth the effort that you’re putting into it.It’s your task, you just own it.

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“Wait, why are we doing this again?”

Not knowing or understanding what you’re doing is one of the biggest reasons why you might have a communication problem. With an important workload at hand, knowing what you’re doing can be the differentiator between success and failure. You need to be fully aware of your company’s current milestone, overall vision, and ultimate goal to be able to adapt accordingly.

In order to fully own something, you need to know where you want to take it. That will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.When it comes to communication, everything is linked. If one loop falls, the whole chain disassembles. That’s why it is crucial to maintain good efficient communication in order to minimize delays, conflict, and failure.