Signal

signal

One training I look forward to ever so often is a defensive driving course that our company has each employee attend every 3 or so years. Past trainers have worked with the NYPD to train them on high speed chases, so naturally I feel super legit going to this. 

We practice in the 'snow car' which resembles driving on ice and snow. We do a mock test where texting is involved to show the dangers. We practice backing into all parking spots and how to brake instantly. 

After all of the training and practice rounds, the trainer reminded us all that one of the most important things you can do to prevent an accident is use your blinkers to signal lane changes and transitions. Braking in advance would also be included. The defensive driving trainer of the NYPD would remind us all that one of the most effective practices you can take on in the vehicle is signaling your plan of action, a communication plan if you will.

I think he's on to something outside of the car, too.

Most 'disasters' in our work can most likely be by passed with an effective communication plan that gets to the people that it should. Most small 'accidents' usually won't happen when we create a habitual manner of communication on our priority areas and thus actions in life. 

One of my husband's pet peeves is when tail lights are out. He will offer to fix them on the spot for you because of the safely implications when those lights are out. For myself, I am trying to look at the broken pieces that prevent effective communication and fix them on the spot. 

A few learnings so far: 

Things 3: I've been using this app for a month now and it's a favorite. It's a great way to create small, actionable steps into each day. Take a large area of life or a project to be completed, break it down with the app, assign deadlines to each task, and bam. A solid communication plan mapped out day by day. The one feature I love is having an inbox-- this is where you pile up the random thoughts, ideas, things to be done. You have to discipline yourself to review this often and assign each task or idea to be actionable but it gives a lot of freedom to brain dump throughout the day, knowing that it will get done. Also, the 'Today' feature allows you to see just what you need to get done that day. I like having those and just those tasks in front of me. 

Death by Meeting: This is a great, quick read to frame up meetings-- when to have them, when not to have them, alternative ways to communicate with a group outside of the traditional 'meeting'. Take a few nuggets from the book and implement into your weekly, monthly, and yearly calendar. IE if you are married, a weekly 'family meeting' to review the week ahead; for the most significant aspects of your life, every quarter have a strategic meeting for that space. 

Lastly, Just Ask: Want to know if your communication is effective? Just ask those that it impacts the most. Plug in dates in the calendar to ask for feedback in this area. Some might find that a strange ask but it is far worth it to be strange than ignorant!