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1
Transforming Tech Teams
Breaking Barriers through Better Communication
Presented by Chris Steele
2
About me
3
Today’s focus
What is communication? Why does
communication fail?
How can we do better?
4
What is communication?
A process by which
information is exchanged
between individuals
through a common system
of symbols, signs, or
behavior – Merriam-
Webster
5
What does this look like in tech teams?
Agile
ceremonies
Code reviews Scoping
sessions
1:1’s And More
6
Why does communication fail?
Not listening
Lack of trust
Disagreements
Misunderstanding
Arrogance
Intent not clear
Not a good day
7
How can we do better?
Become aware Leverage known
strategies
Choose different
words/phrases
8
But wait…
9
Awareness -
Ladder of Inference
10
Awareness – Power of TED
11
Strategies – Speed of Trust
12
Strategies – When in Meetings
• Have an agenda or meeting strategy
• Choose the right people
• Leaders talk last
• Use "yes and" approach
• End with recap, commitments, accountability, and timelines
13
Strategies – Preventing Defensiveness
• LISTEN
• PAUSE
• Agree with the person
• Acknowledge their feelings
• Tell them what you’ve learned/heard
• Tell them how helpful it was
• What else?
14
Word Choice – Remove Absolutes
• Always / Never
• Everyone / No One
• Anything / Everything
• What else?
15
Word Choice - Phrases
Why… => Can you help me understand
I’m too busy => I have not made time for it
You should… => Have you considered
But... => I love you and I do not like...
Would you be opposed to…
16
Word Choice – Words are hard!
• Just
• Kind of
• Trust/believe me
• No offense
• What else?
17
Special Mention - Acknowledgment
18
What are some of your techniques?
19
What did we learn?
Self
Awareness
Strategies
Word
choices
<insert
yours>
• Ladder of inference
• Power of TED
• Speed of Trust
• Effective meetings
• Preventing defensiveness
• Remove absolutes
• Change phrases
• Avoid certain words
20
Shout-out
9:00 am – Amanda Lange
The Power of Listening: Improving Communication in the Tech
Industry
Talks to see tomorrow – 5/25!
10:30 am – Kyle Jenkins
From Blind Trust to Real Trust: Practical Steps for IT Teams
21
Thank you!

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Breaking Barriers through Better Communication - Transforming Tech Teams

  • 1. 1 Transforming Tech Teams Breaking Barriers through Better Communication Presented by Chris Steele
  • 3. 3 Today’s focus What is communication? Why does communication fail? How can we do better?
  • 4. 4 What is communication? A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior – Merriam- Webster
  • 5. 5 What does this look like in tech teams? Agile ceremonies Code reviews Scoping sessions 1:1’s And More
  • 6. 6 Why does communication fail? Not listening Lack of trust Disagreements Misunderstanding Arrogance Intent not clear Not a good day
  • 7. 7 How can we do better? Become aware Leverage known strategies Choose different words/phrases
  • 12. 12 Strategies – When in Meetings • Have an agenda or meeting strategy • Choose the right people • Leaders talk last • Use "yes and" approach • End with recap, commitments, accountability, and timelines
  • 13. 13 Strategies – Preventing Defensiveness • LISTEN • PAUSE • Agree with the person • Acknowledge their feelings • Tell them what you’ve learned/heard • Tell them how helpful it was • What else?
  • 14. 14 Word Choice – Remove Absolutes • Always / Never • Everyone / No One • Anything / Everything • What else?
  • 15. 15 Word Choice - Phrases Why… => Can you help me understand I’m too busy => I have not made time for it You should… => Have you considered But... => I love you and I do not like... Would you be opposed to…
  • 16. 16 Word Choice – Words are hard! • Just • Kind of • Trust/believe me • No offense • What else?
  • 17. 17 Special Mention - Acknowledgment
  • 18. 18 What are some of your techniques?
  • 19. 19 What did we learn? Self Awareness Strategies Word choices <insert yours> • Ladder of inference • Power of TED • Speed of Trust • Effective meetings • Preventing defensiveness • Remove absolutes • Change phrases • Avoid certain words
  • 20. 20 Shout-out 9:00 am – Amanda Lange The Power of Listening: Improving Communication in the Tech Industry Talks to see tomorrow – 5/25! 10:30 am – Kyle Jenkins From Blind Trust to Real Trust: Practical Steps for IT Teams

Editor's Notes

  1. Briefly summarize why I want to talk about this Add two pics – family and work family Talk about what you don’t see about my background Most of what we talk about are things I’ve learned along my journey
  2. Dig into this with the audience – what’s missing? Is this accurate?
  3. Ask the audience
  4. Set the stage on the fact that it starts with self
  5. Talk about an example with driving a car in traffic Model describing how we make judgements about decisions – cognitive biases – 2 + 2 = 5 Identify where you are, analyze your thoughts (what and why) Work backwards from where you found yourself and then forwards Mention ”the story that I’m telling myself”
  6. Mention “Death by Meetings” by Patrick Lencioni - Daily Check-in, weekly tactical, monthly strategy, quarterly off-site review Ask the audience
  7. Active listening – Seek first to understand Ask the audience
  8. Personal pet peeve
  9. This is what really inspired the talk
  10. Don’t forget to mention self!
  11. Changes for future talks: Add a crucial conversation slide Add a non-verbal slide Add “open ended questions” in meetings