Communicating Clearly

Feel like end-users don't know what you are talking about? There is a new article over on Dice that discusses the age-old issue of attempting to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical personnel.

Feel like end-users don't know what you are talking about? There is a new article over on Dice that discusses the age-old issue of attempting to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical personnel. The problem is getting harder with today's information technology explosion, and this is one aspect of your skill set that you will need to dial in if you want to move up the corporate ladder. The article has several great tips, reproduced in quick point-form here:

• Take a user to lunch and learn about the business

• Ask to be invited to staff meetings with business people

• IT executives should educate staffers on business speak, the business of their business, and speaking techniques

• IT executives should budget funds to train staffers, starting with how to make presentations to non-IT people.

• Avoid buzzwords when presenting complex issues

• Rely on analogies and simple diagrams

• Avoid jumping to conclusions and commit your full attention to what non-technical personnel have to say, even if the solution to the problem seems obvious

• Show empathy and make an effort to understand others’ points of view, schedule one-on-one and group meetings for planning and solution-oriented discussions (instead of relying on email or telephone), and be patient