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Published on Nov 15, 2017
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.