Kevin Barron, University of California, Santa Barbara
In the tech world we typically focus almost exclusively on instrumental communication—because once we have nailed our communications objective in unambiguous, non-jargon, we feel we can precisely communicate with our clientele, and team members. And yet we fail—often spectacularly. Then we blame all the wrong things: the clients did not take enough interest, the team members were distracted or went off-message. On the other hand, we sometimes experience what seem to be spontaneous moments of clarity and free-flowing ideas, but rarely consider what enabled it. To better understand this dynamic, we need to step back and take the end-to-end view. In other words, use the same troubleshooting methods we would apply to a technical problem. Once we take a broader systemic view, we can remove the problems, and actively promote coherent communication.
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