Communication is the most important skill in the workplace. The class that I’ve used the most from college are my freshman English classes. Notice that it’s not programming, C++, Java, Data Structures, or Networking. Plain English. Written English, Spoken English. Mind you, I do live and work in the United States, but I’ve found that communicating, and communicating thoroughly and well is the most challenging aspect of my job, in a lot of ways.
I have to send status, tell people what to do, how to do it, and make sure that first and second line managers know what I’m doing. I have to talk to, email with, and communicate with the development teams, the test teams, and the OPS teams, and make sure that everyone is on the same page, and that there are no mysteries to anyone about what is going on. There is a lot of communication between teams. In order for them to work together, there must be communication at all times.
The ultimate goal is complete transparency. This happens only when there is adequate communication. That means- a LOT of communication between the different parties. Making sure that everyone knows what is going on, and communicating that information with everyone is a challenge. I pretty much find myself communicating, and communicating some more. Email, Instant Messaging Chats, Status, Meetings. They are all about communications. Those communications require clear, concise descriptions with enough details to tell what is going on, without leaving anything to the imagination, and without overwhelming the recipient with information- a fine line, indeed.
Next: Anticipating a Need