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Great collaboration requires miscommunication
There is a fine line between terrible communication and awesome collaboration — and the side of the line you are on depends on what you use to fill the gaps in your communication. If you really want to unlock the magical creative potential of your team, mis-communicate.
In a conversation with an entrepreneur about communication and collaboration, she said,
I can show you a few symbols, or a few hundred symbols, in a specific order, and without any other context, you can understand my entire world, who I am and what I am thinking. The data compression is astounding, but the process is really lossy.
I love the idea that communication is inherently lossy. There are gaps in every narrative and you have to count on the person receiving the message to fill them in — and when you are collaborating or generally building or creating with someone else, the success or failure of your partnership hangs in the gaps in your communication.
The data of your ideas has to be compressed into words, and bits are lost in the process. The lossiness creates fertile ground for your partner to interpret your ideas, add their unique view and understand your world in new ways. The direction that this takes is dependent on the environment you create and the mindset you bring to every interaction.
The gaps are where the magic happens or where the world falls apart. You can’t control the magic, but you can control the environment and what fills the gaps in your communication. In my experience, people who work really hard to fill the gaps with confidence, trust, respect and a shared, objective understanding of the end goal end up with magic more often than not.