Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting on the Same Map

One of the key factors in communication is "being on the same map." Many of us have observed conversations or meetings where people talked past one another because they attached different meanings to words and didn't realize that they had different goals. Using word pictures to reveal possible gaps can help.

Clarify the specific goals along with quality, quantity, responsibilities, and how the picture will be changed. Describe how they tie in with the larger strategic goal. Note the downsides in any of the areas and how those are being addressed. Invite people to surface any point, however small, with which they have even a twinge of concern. Beware of rapid agreement.

The idea of this is to smoke out the "mixed maps" problem as well as other possible obstacles. Getting zapped by a completely unforeseeable negative can be excused. What will keep you up for years is the problem which could have been prevented and was not.

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