Deliver rehearsed thoughts, not knee-jerk responses

Published Jun. 3, 2020 by Andy Leverenz in Communication

Rehearsed thoughts

Let me set the scene.

You are chatting with your team members in Slack trying to arrive at an agreement on some outstanding challenge that needs to be dealt with.

You read Slack messages from your colleagues and proceed to respond immediately. They too respond quickly. Everything seems great as you arrive at some solution.

Your colleagues take your responses run with them. The chat continues as other team members use the channel for other messaging. Your conversation drifts away.

Everything feels settled until you get approached by additional colleagues regarding the same issue who missed the messages in Slack earlier.

Quickly, you take to Slack and scroll forever until you find what you said to re-communicate your former thoughts. Slack now becomes a time suck that keeps you from getting work done.

Little did you know that responding so quickly lead to increased communication issues amongst the team. Sadly, there is no single source of truth for the communication for everyone to digest on their own time since it all scrolled away. Communication begins to fail over and over.

Slack and similar tools are like a conveyor belt of text. You have a short window to read, respond, and get heard. If you miss the window you're fucked.

Responding just to respond is a way to get noticed and alerted of new updates but in my experience those responses tend to just be distracting noise.

We all want to be part of the conversation. We want this so bad that we often create knee-jerk responses to keep up. Those responses are quick decisions that could potentially produce poor outcomes for a given project, idea, or tone towards the other people on your team.

What if you removed the conveyor belt concept and have an entire threaded message feed in view?

This was a question I kept asking myself as I got sick of dealing with Slack day-to-day. I wanted a break from "real-time" so I could be more productive and come back to communicate with rehearsed thoughts.

Compose keeps the context of the conversation always in view. Threads can get long just like chat tools but there is always a single place to go back to since each message is its own space for communication. Your team can easily see the flow of the conversation over time with responses to a message. The best part is that it's entirely asynchronous which helps you stay focused on real-work and not a prisoner of your chat-based tool or its notifications.

Drafting a new message in Compose allows you to spend some time thinking about how you will communicate. It reduces any need for knee-jerk responses.

There is little pressure to respond right then and there unlike other chat-based tools.

Your stress decreases, communication is clearer, and your teammates become better writers as a bonus. We call it a win-win. Would you agree? Give Compose a try to see if it's for you.