Communication for PM’s and techies…O: Oh, and other opportunities

In composing this posting today, it occurred to me just how many communication words start with the letter “O” – opportunity, outlook, orientation, obvious, optimism, (being) outstanding… and oh, so many more.

I’m going to start with the least obvious, the word “Oh”. Being mindful of the saying that “Communication is a two-way street” gave rise to considering “oh” as a relevent word for today.  What I mean by this is that when we say, present, tell, talk, or otherwise send out a message, we need to pause for reaction and response, and then reflect on what we hear.  The deliberate pausing to watch and hear the response provides us the valuable information that we might not otherwise take in.  “Oh…” followed by “that is what you heard” or “I didn’t know you’d see it that way” closes the loop on the communication and conveys interest in the person(s) receiving your message.

As I mentioned in the post on active listening, it takes planning and concentration to truly listen to what the other person says instead of thinking about what you are going to say next.  Have you ever seen one of those comedy skits where two people talk at the same time and when they realize that the other isn’t paying attention, the speed and volume of each one increases?  While it makes for good entertainment, it doesn’t make for good day-to-day communication at work or at home.

As technical professionals, it behooves us to stop, pause and take time to say “Oh” if we want to become efficient and effective communicators.

Watch this space for more “O” communication ideas in the coming days (before we progress to P and the remaining letters enroute to Z).

Wishing you better communication!


Carol Dekkers

For more information on northernSCOPE(TM) visit (in English pages) and for upcoming training in Tampa, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Helsinki and other locations in 2010, visit
=======Copyright 2010, Carol Dekkers ALL RIGHTS RESERVED =======


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