If you’re like us, you know the world is moving faster and you are managing multiple communication platforms via social, digital, and mobile technologies daily. If clear communication and dialogue are key to gaining alignment for teams and projects, it’s important that these tools are helping and not hindering.
I met a client earlier this week to discuss how a workshop could assist her with accelerating a new product roll-out. Elizabeth was visibly upset, so I obviously hesitated and then asked if things were ok. She described her version of yesterday’s work day, an ultra productive day. She was focused, keeping “all the balls in the air” when when she got a text that her closest friend had been mauled by an aggressive dog. The distraction was torture but with a deadline looming, she had to no choice but to continue working.
Even an email from her boss about closing the loop on another deadline late in the day didn’t sway her focus. Without an ASAP flag or tone, she calendared it for first thing the next morning. Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s boss, Tom felt the email was clear: this was an urgent task that she should have known was meant to be tackled before leaving the office. His tone and emphasis of being irrefutably right put Elizabeth on the defensive. The meeting went downhill and he left very angry. She was shocked and confused.
This got me thinking about how many digital inputs we get daily and wondering how many we completely understand. Do we feel empowered to communicate effectively and execute well or do we experience miscommunication and misalignment? Was this short, digital, one way communication really clear and leading to a result or did it create confusion? In this case, not only was a project deadline missed but the interchange demotivated Elizabeth and affected her performance going forward. We recognize that there’s also financial impacts of these misses.
Our latest research discoveries on Neuroscience and Behavioral Economics are startling. These fast digital inputs can hurt our ability to concentrate and have us respond quickly from our “fast” subconscious brain. We all have preconceived biases and receive the messages with those lenses. Creating fast responses does not harness our true productivity with mindful thoughts and actions but can create confusion, wrong responses and unneeded stress.
Possibly “slowing down to speed up” will leverage the power of both our subconscious and conscious brains leading to an effective “Nudge.”
A Nudge is an indirect or positive idea that will cause you to do something where there is no forced compliance and will lead to some breakthrough idea or action.
“How many digital communications did you manage this past week? Consider the impact on your productivity.” – The Art of The Nudge