My Communication Skills : Good, bad, great?

Communication skills between individuals and in a group are an important foundation for the strategy design and formulation process. There are three different channels involved in the communication process. Only when we pay attention to and master all three we achieve a sound communication process and get good business results.

Bad communicators only talk, Good communicators are able to listen & Great communicators adapt to context!

For more details, check the article “Communication and Strategy Design Process”.

Lifehacker’s Top Ten Conversation Hacks

Last week Lifehacker published a nice article with their Top 10 Conversation Hacks:

  • 10. Feign sincerity with eye contact and repetition.
  • 9. End a conversation with body language.
  • 8. Ask sensitive questions indirectly to skip awkwardness.
  • 7. Use silence to win arguments and nail a negotiation.
  • 6. Soften critiques with the sandwich method.
  • 5. Say “no” gently—or say “yes, but….”
  • 4. Ask questions well.
  • 3. De-code office jargon.
  • 2. “Pace and lead” an irate person.
  • 1. Become a human lie detector.

Check out the original article for the more detailled descriptions.

What does it take to be a Project Manager?

The article “Project Management: Do You Have What It Takes?” from Gloria C. Brown was recently published at PMHUT. It’s a good read for those who are thinking about Project Management as a possible carreer path!

Becoming a project manager is not for the faint of heart. In short, to be successful, you must also be an expert planner, problem-solver, diplomat, communicator, leader, learner, and manager. Plus, you must understand the policies, procedures, and politics of the organization in which you manage projects. Enter this profession only if you have the skills and knowledge indicated above, along with a willingness to continually learn more about this exciting and ever-changing field.

How to do standup meetings?

What are the characteristiccs?

  • Stand Up : Everybody stands up, nobody sits down.
  • 15 or less: Short session; max. 15min, if possible even shorter
  • Token : Only the one holding the token speaks, and (s)he speaks towards the whole group.
  • Offline : It isn’t a problem-solving meeting. So issues will be handled -offline- when it become too detailled. Meaning that they will be addressed after the meeting with only the affected persons involved.

What should you discuss?

  • Yesterday : What did I do yesterday
  • Today : What will I be doing today.
  • Obstacles : What’s blocking me.
  • Focus : Relevance to the backlog (general todo-list)

Which are the advantages?

  • Identify obstacles : The meeting is a tool to identify problems, not to solve them. During the meeting people can indicate that they can assist you with your problem. Yet the actually discussion will be handled offline.
  • Set direction and focus : A standup meeting will also help to keep everyone aligned towards the team goal. That way we won’t lose any time on less relevant things.
  • Share commitment : We commit ourselves to tasks on a daily basis. By putting them in a group, we’ll be sharing the commitment on these issues (and thus knowing the existence).
  • Communicate status : Communicating status is secondary to the identification of problems. Yet it’s a big factor that the key points of everyone’s daily task is know by everyone. The communication aspect isn’t meant to communicate to management, but to the other team members.
  • Build a team : Don’t create groups, but create one team by knowing what everyone does.

For more information checkt he links on Wikipedia…

From Creativity to Innovation

Every morning in the savannah… A gazelle wakes up and thinks…
“Today I have to run faster than the Lion, if I want to live!”
At the same time… A lion wakes up and thinks…
“Arrf!
 Today I have to run faster than the slowest gazelle if I want to live!”
It doesn’t matter whether you are a gazelle or a lion…
you need need to run faster every morning to survive!

Which is the greenest; disks or flash?

In his latest blog post, Anything But a Flash in the Pan, Jonathan Schwartz. touches a good point… We have RAM memory for “on the fly” memory and hard drivers to have persistent storage. Yet flash memory could (let me stand corrected; WILL) be used as a middle way option. Put apart the commercial notes (links towards Sun & ZFS), and you’ll probably find it an interesting read like me.

There are only two kinds of storage devices – those that have failed, and those that are about to fail. That’s the view most data centers have about the traditionally mechanical devices pejoratively referred to as “spinning rust.” All disk drives fail, cheap drives fail faster.