Posts Tagged: distributed work

Poor communication red flags

A “code smell” in software dev is a case where it may not be perfectly clear what is wrong with a section of code or a design, but … there’s definitely something, and the team should dig into it before going ahead. There are similar red flags that communication in your team isn’t happening as it should — and you should take a closer look, whether you’re leading the team or not.

Peter Senge’s focus on systems thinking is very relevant here (see “The Fifth Discipline”; a classic). A team (and a company) is a complex system that’s not self-correcting/improving by default; if you just leave your communication culture to develop on its own, this system will lose energy & focus to random communication failures, and break down dramatically under strain — i.e., at the worst possible time.

Here’s a list of 8 red flags that your team isn’t communicating effectively — see which ones you recognize, and we’ll review some strategies to address them.

1. You’re nearing a secret tipping point

There’s a growing problem; when it hits a tipping point, then you’ll take some irrevocable, probably harmful action.

angry, crossed arms

What?! That’s the 2nd time this week he’s gotten into some kind of pissing match with his team lead. I don’t know what’s gotten into him lately, but this is the last straw; he’s got to go.