Not just once, but repeatedly. Not just when we’re working on our own, but when our projects involve many people.
It’s not a case of “fixing” the content. The key attributes of effective content don’t live in the content itself. Pointing at effective content doesn’t make it appear on your website… And the key attributes of effective content don’t live in your user, either. Their experience is affected by it, but they don’t influence it…
We need to look at the team behind the content. The key attributes of effective content live in the team that creates it. Not just the writers and editors, but everyone who contributes to or is affected by the content. So the question becomes, how can we support teams to produce effective content? This isn’t about getting “better” stakeholders, it’s about supporting the stakeholders we have to work together effectively. How can we do that? Continue reading To collaborate on content, go beyond arguments to find an approach that works for everyone→
Pair writing is a technique for collaborating on content in real time. Instead of exchanging drafts or correcting with a red pen, two people sit down together to write. You can use it to help content specialists collaborate with subject matter experts, or to include managers in the writing process, or to get input from colleagues when you need help. It builds understanding and trust, speeds up publishing processes, and creates content that meets user needs.
When a colleague makes a suggestion that we fear may harm our chances of success, we tend to “push back” against their position. This confrontation normally leads to neither side being satisfied. But if we connect instead of pushing back, we can move beyond positions and discover the underlying needs. This builds empathy and opens up options we hadn’t previously considered. Continue reading Pushing back blocks empathy. Can you connect instead?→
When we experience conflict about something we’re working on, that conflict isn’t really about the work. It’s about trust between the people in the room.
I learnt this from a participant at a workshop I was facilitating, who I’ll call Adam. We were role-playing difficult conversations from work. Adam was a product manager, and his scenario was a regular meeting where his team of developers prioritised features for the next sprint. One particular developer always seemed to raise the same issue: a feature he thought was important, even though Adam had explained that it wasn’t a priority for the business. As the role-play started, I suggested that Adam use a listening technique we were working on to find out more about what was going on for this developer who always seemed to speak up. Continue reading Conflict isn’t really about the work, it’s about trust→