Thursday, August 26, 2010

Communication traps: Avoiding "Them" vs. "Us"

We discussed failures of communication earlier this week and today we want to discuss one major source of contention among stakeholders - "Them" vs. "Us." Thankfully, Bas De Baar over at Project Shrink gives us a great run-down of this roadblock and how to avoid it. He writes that he's found a useful framework for this purpose in Anxiety/Uncertainty Management, a theory developed by William Gudyfunst. This theory is used for analyzing effective communication and cultural adaption between people belonging to a certain group (ingroup) and strangers (outgroup). Effective communication and adaption occurs when there is a low anxiety towards strangers and a low uncertainty towards behavior.
So how can you make this happen with your team's communication process? We encourage you to check out Project Shrink for details and to enjoy a great video on the subject with Bas and Kimberly Wiefling.
What other strategies can keep communication in check? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

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