The Art of Communication
I can honestly say that I have been looking forward to Maggie being full time at OFP for a long time – probably even longer than she has. I knew we needed to get to this point for a thousand different reasons, but mainly because I knew I couldn’t do it alone. As the one with the more flexible schedule for the last 2 years, I was the one who kept this ship sailing on a daily basis. Now, that is not to say the ship was moving in the right direction. It was just staying afloat.
Maggie and I have always talked daily about OFP, but it was typically me throwing out a few ideas and asking her input on what was a priority. She is a natural leader and can see the big picture way more clearly than I can. I get stuck in the weeds over the smallest details and always looked to her to put me back on course. It’s the perfect partnership. So what could possibly be difficult about us working together full time?
It turns out, I’m not used to having to work with other people. Having left the regular work force 6 years ago, I have only had myself to answer to. And like Maggie, I’m my own toughest critic. I figured this dynamic duo would just step together in sync and start saving the world. I failed to recognize we have different work environments, schedules and styles. She communicates in a direct and honest way, while I eventually get the point across once I’ve explained the rationale to my way of thinking. She likes to make decisions. I like the processes. I need time to think through the next steps. She is often bored to tears while she waits on me.
Again, it’s not like any of this was news to me. We’ve always said we are the perfect business partners because we are so different, yet so complimentary. What we didn’t realize was that we still had to learn how to communicate with each other so the other person could actually hear what we were trying to say. We were fortunate to have one of Our Porch Panelist, Kevin, recommend that we each take the DISC personality test and then read each other’s reports. I found this section of Maggie’s report particularly eye opening:
Things to do to effectively communicate with Margaret:
1. Get to the point quickly and don’t ramble.
2. Be efficient: Hit the major points first.
Wow! I am definitely guilty of both those things. Maggie was so annoyed by my delivery that she struggled to even hear the content of what I was saying. As much as she is responsible for keeping her directness in check, I need to understand my audience and adapt accordingly. Communicating effectively is a great concept, but actually knowing how to do it is a whole other thing. But now that we know, we just eliminated an entire layer of nonsense that was just getting in the way of saving the world. And that is no small feat!
Turn those graphs sideways and they might fit! I and…know where you get it!