My Best learning from 2020 – Written Communication : Challenges & Importance!

Looking back one of the best thing that this forced wfh has taught me the importance of written communication. One of the common themes amongst most companies across all teams has been the communication scaling through documents, emails, slack msgs etc.

When we started off, I still remember it was literally impossible for all of us across teams to settle into this new forced abnormal. There was an impeccable loss – Communication. We lost that human touch, that silent communication through body language and facials.

Because of this most teams can end up invariably into a lot of conflicts and miscommunication.  Most problems can boil down into interpersonal problems and the only way around this is effective communication.

One thing that I have learnt and keep proactively preach is Over-Communication. Its certainly okay to over communicate by all medium rather than be part of these misunderstandings due to the loss of communication.

In the modern times, most companies work across different teams with different time schedules/ preferred schedules or across various time-zones. Functioning effectively thus demands meetings and more meetings AND MORE!!!
This can be only solved with asynchronous communication. This leads to a beautiful approach where all teams can work 100% effectively and full capacity by being able to contribute at their feasible times in forms of – common shared documents – googledocs, information slide decks, email chains, slack messages or internal wikis.

  • For this to be more effective all managers/teams must take responsibility to start working on such written documents and every member in the team contributes to it.
  •  One good way to make it more comfortably accepted is to ensure people publish   them publicly.  
  • Take extra ordinary care towards writing.
  • As a group foster a culture of appreciation for great writing by celebrating and encouraging.
  • Great writing compels great thinking  and mindful communication prevents haste and waste.
  • As an organization we should promote great writing and support by bringing in the right tools needed to store and share.

It took years for Gitlab to reach to this beautiful stage but definitely a testimony for other companies aspiring to go remote. Check their beautiful documentation here.

Personally, I have felt enablement of written communication as one of the highlights and my learnings of 2020. What is yours?

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