Aug 20223

Focus on Communication - A Cultural Quick Tip

by Jon Grannis, 2 weeks ago

Group discussion

Contributor - Kari Heistad

Teach Team Shorthand to New Team Members

The deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous places to work, as it requires precise and exact communication in order to safely land planes on a pitching deck in high winds. To an outsider, it may look chaotic, but this setting has been refined over time to be a highly organized workplace. One part of this success is the crew’s use of shorthand communication style that has its own vernacular, acronyms, hand signals, and subtext.

While most work teams operate in a fairly safe work environment, they still develop their own compressed language that allows team members to communicate quickly and easily with each other. When outsiders join the team, this shorthand may be hard to understand or learn, resulting in conflict and frustration, especially if people are from different cultural backgrounds.

It is important when bringing new people onto a team that the shorthand is clearly explained.
 

Action Step: Collect the acronyms and vernacular unique to your team so that new team members can quickly learn your team’s shorthand.

Discussion Questions

  1. What are some of the “secret” (acronyms, industry code) ways that the team communicates with each other?
  2. How did this team shorthand evolve? What purpose does it serve?
  3. Does this communication shorthand help or hinder us as a team? Why? If it helps, how can we share this with others?
  4. How can we bring new team members, or people outside the team, up to speed on what our internal language means so they are not left out?
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