I first met Don Rossmoore whilst working together in 2016. It was clear right away that he had an uncanny knack of understanding what people were really saying when they spoke. His understanding of why certain communications weren’t working was also far deeper than I’d heard before.
As humans, our most natural reaction to a challenging communication situation is to think, “If only I can express myself better so I can get the other person to understand.” However, this is almost never the real problem. Instead, it’s very likely that the real problem is that at least one of the speakers (and very likely you) is being unconsciously defensive about something. This leads to the following:
- Not listening to or understanding the worldview of the other person.
- Being manipulative or evasive in what’s being said rather than openly discussing the core truth of what’s at stake.
- Bringing points across in a way that implies you are not open to compromise or criticism.
This defensiveness is extremely natural and arises from our deep instinct as humans to feel safe in a group, to feel right, to feel accepted. However, it can wreak havoc on group communications.
Don’s techniques for discussion and interaction were a huge help in unblocking impasses and enabling our team members to understand each better. Everyone was deeply motivated for the whole team to succeed, and getting communication right not only helped that happen but made those key discussions much warmer and more fulfilling.
Given the uniqueness and value of Don’s communication support techniques, quite a few people on the team encouraged him to turn them into book form so others could also try them out. It’s been a pleasure to work with him on that book and see that it’s now finally here. Welcome to The Art of Team Communication (*), which was published on Amazon last week. I highly recommend it to anyone working in work teams, either as a manager or as a participant.
I worked with Don to help bring the book together, and it was a pleasure to do so. It was enlightening to talk through why our teams behave the way they do and what drives our behaviors.
We rarely listen as well as we think we do. We’re often preparing what to say next rather than taking in what we’re being told. This book has great practices on how to avoid these problems, but also a deeper dive into why they occur in the first place.
Not every technique may work for your team, but I’m betting there’ll be something that will make your communication more effective and joyous!
(*) $7.99 on kindle but discounted to $0.99 during some of the weeks post-launch in Dec’22.