Context is critical, don’t lose it.
It is easy to under share.
What is under sharing? “Under sharing” is when we don’t give enough context about a project.
Under sharing destroys working relationships. Why? Just because we under share doesn’t mean we “under expect,“ which leaves both sides at a loss.
For example, say a critical project comes to your desk. You decide to put one of your sharpest people on it. You have high expectations, and you expect this person to get through.
The last time, on a “regular” project, they didn’t need context and knocked it out of the park. You decide that they don’t need it here too. Besides, that might insult his or her intelligence. I mean, they should know, right? Aren’t you busy enough?
Wrong. At best, you’ve just handicapped a competent person, at worse, doomed them to fail.
You have to direct and give them a chance to win.
A way to force yourself to do this is to add two items to whatever medium with how you communicate.
Those two things; expectations and “why” step out of the instruction and focus entirely on context.
- Instruction – Take the lead on “Project X.”
- Expectation – That I get weekly reports, and we see significant progress by (x/xx). *
- Why – This is a major initiative for the company and a chance for you to shine.*
That example gives context in a concise way. Use it, or find your own method. The important part is that you don’t lose context.
Don’t fall into the trap of under sharing.