How communication done at Kulkul

We communicate every day, how many times you ask yourself how effective your communication is? Like any other business, communication is at the center of Kulkul. As a people-driven business, communication has always the core activity in our business, and in this article, I want to share with you how we communicate to each other both the concept and the tactical how-to.

This subject is something I repeatedly share with my team without feeling tired. I believe having the communication right is critical whether you run a big company or building a company from scratch like me.

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Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

Debate vs. Discussion vs. Dialogue

There are three modes of communication. These modes I didn’t invent myself but I learn from the CatalystX from edX. Each mode will result in different results. We will discuss one by one and will share what is the caveats for each mode.

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Photo by Edvin Johansson on Unsplash

The first mode of communication that people often use is debate. In debate mode, the goal of the communication is to find who’s right and who’s wrong or it can be what’s right and what’s wrong. Using this mode, it is hard to achieve constructive communication because usually people just shout out to each other without listening to one another. People just said, “it should be this way”, but without helping one another why this way or why that way.

The debate mode usually happens in political communication or in a heated situation where people do not focus on solving the task at hand and focus more on the whose win.

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Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

Discussion is the second mode of communication and the most common among the three. This is where the average organization having communication. It is better from having a debate but this is not enough if you want to build an inclusive workplace.

The goal of the discussion is to find a conclusion. Having a conclusion is good, but imagine a situation where a conclusion taken in the discussion but there are still people who spoken or unspokenly said: “yes, but …”. They want to be heard but the conclusion is taken. In this kind of situation, it is time where discussion is not enough.

The most common situation when we at the discussion mode is when someone explaining something complex and then people just said: “Ok”.

The most common situation when we at the discussion mode is when someone explaining something complex and then people just said: “Ok”. This is not helpful because the people who explain the complex stuff might not know whether the person they talking with understanding what they talk about or not. We will share how to tackle this problem in the Dialogue Section.

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Photo by Ann Fossa on Unsplash

Last but not least, where we have a dialogue mode. In dialogue, in contrast to the debate and discussion mode, the goal is to understand each other. So there’s a huge emphasis on listening to other people and confirm whether what we understand is correct or not. In the dialogue, the conclusion might happen, but it is not the end. The ultimate goal is to understand each other understanding, confirm what we understand is correct and later we will act on the shared understanding to solve the problem at hand.

Parroting

I mentioned earlier that listening is a key part of dialogue communication. Imagine you’re in the situation I share in the previous section, in a discussion, we already have a conclusion but there’s a person who still not fully agrees with the final conclusion. They do not agree because they are not heard or they feel their understanding of the problem is not taken into account.

These are things we want to avoid. One of the ways to avoid this problem is instead of only saying “Ok” when people explain something to us, try to repeat in your own word what you’ve listened to. For example,

Don’t do this!

Michael: Incoming inbound leads we have is low for the last few weeks.

Saru: Ok.

Michael: Hmm.. It think we should rethink another strategy.

Instead, do this!

Michael: Incoming inbound leads we have is low for the last few weeks.

Saru: Oh so for the last few weeks we have less leads than usual?

Michael: Yes, I’m thinking to create another strategy.

Saru: Is it expected due to the Holiday season?

Michael: Ah right, what we should do instead to make our sales team productive in this holiday season?

Saru & Michael: There are lot more discussion here.

By implementing parroting, we not only increasing the understanding between parties that involved in the discussion, but also enriching the discussion to something more meaningful.

Watch other people’s lips while they’re talking.

This is tips I learned in the One Month Product Management course. In the course the instructor share tips on how to listen better. One of the tricks is watching other people’s lips while they’re talking and make us focus to listen to them and not distracted by anything that might distract us. Remember our mind is a master procrastinator and prefers something more enjoyable than something hard and taking more energy like listening to other people.

Practices makes perfect.

To be successful all those practices take time before it feels like second nature, so I recommend you to keep practicing this technique and evaluate what you have learned while practicing this technique.

When I practicing this technique, what I always imagine is a game where I make a point if I understand what people talking about and try to provide value in the discussion by giving opinions or valuable feedback in the communication. So make your point by understanding people, and then once we understand them we can have more meaningful communication.

Bonus

I record a video in Bahasa months ago discussing about communication and how we can do it better.

MPJ discuss about communication using dialogue technique.

Kulkul.tech is an excellent software development company committing to deliver high-quality software starting from its people and their interactions. If you want to build the right software for your organization, call us and get a free consultation with us.

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Abdurrachman — mpj

Written by

yet another so called software engineer. currently building @kulkultech

Kulkul Technology

We’re on the mission to brings high-quality software to the masses through customer-obsessed consulting, training, and mentoring. (PT Kulkul Teknologi Internasional)

Abdurrachman — mpj

Written by

yet another so called software engineer. currently building @kulkultech

Kulkul Technology

We’re on the mission to brings high-quality software to the masses through customer-obsessed consulting, training, and mentoring. (PT Kulkul Teknologi Internasional)

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