The 5 Minute Tech Break : Communication

Happy Friday All

OK - let's start with some honesty here ...

Communication, is not always a fully formed skill for some techies.

We sometimes suffer a breakdown of communication here at CTO Academy HQ, the yin and the yang of our relationship never more clearly exposed than in our style of communicative delivery.

So we thought we'd put different elements of 'communication', under our spotlight this week.

Jason & Andrew

Article of the Week :
How to build trust with an inherited tech team

My last proper period of employment was a miserable experience.  It was so miserable that I vowed there and then, to only ever work for myself.

I worked in legal management.  Indeed, I'd achieved considerable previous success in the sector, was well paid and walked into this new role with a confidence in my ability to deliver.

What tripped me up, and I didn't properly explore before accepting, was that I inherited a toxic working environment.  

My predecessor left behind tribal warfare, manipulative personal agendas and significant drug use, none of which was toned down for my arrival.

My communication skills were in over drive as we made fundamental changes to that organisation which ultimately, but thankfully, cost me my job.

So I know only too well how challenging it can be inheriting a team, particularly a dysfunctional one.  An issue we covered more positively, in this weeks CTO Academy blog on 'How to build trust with an inherited tech team'



How good are you at feedback?

Most of us are pretty terrible at giving (and receiving) feedback.

We've covered before in this newsletter something called Radical Candor, how to be a great leader without losing your humanity.  Creating a culture of feedback that helps to build a cohesive team and achieve great results.

HBR released an article just this week called 'What really good feedback looks like' which delves into the issues of whether giving feedback to colleagues is useful.

A recent cover story in the same publication argued that it's not.  That it doesn't help people excel and is more likely to hinder their learning.

Yet this article focuses on research and experience at the 'Centre for Creative Leadership' that led to a different and more familiar conclusion.  That from the perspective of managers, feedback is essential to enhance their best qualities and address their worst.

Linguistic Relativity in Film

The hypothesis of linguistic relativity holds that the structure of a language affects its speakers world view or cognition.

It's also known as the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis and received a Hollywood shot in the arm during the release of the 2016 film, Arrival, where Amy Adams’ linguistics professor, Dr Louise Banks, is recruited by the US government to decipher the language of a group of visiting aliens.

I only recently watched the film but it led me to find this interesting article on whether 'Cinema can teach us the true value of human communication'.   

Quote of the Week ... from Spandau Ballet

"Telex or tell me but it's always second-hand
Oh I'm incognito but no rendez-vous been planned
Dictate or relate I could send it to your home
'Return to sender' I could sing it down the phone
Communication let me down and I'm left here" 

If you'd like to dig deeper into our written and communication skills, then you can do worse than visit our ever growing archive of '5 minute tech breaks'.

Until next time ... have a wonderful, safe and happy weekend, wherever you are in the world.