There are a lot of keen insights in the 2022 guest articles for improving communication skills. Looking back on this bold collection reminds me that much good work is still needed as we move into the future.
Effective Communication is a System
Is there a single theme that we can gain from the 2022 guest articles that makes it easier to communicate information related to big decisions with complexity and uncertainty? Is there one thing we can do to be an effective trusted advisor? The answer to both is "not really."
The guest articles verify that communication is a system consisting of many interrelated parts that produce something that the parts acting alone cannot produce. A challenging aspect concerning a system is that optimizing one part will not produce the desired effect. The part that provides hope is that all of the parts do not have to be perfect to produce the desired effect.
FINESSE Helps Us Communicate Effectively
FINESSE describes the cause-and-effect relationships associated with effective communication. The seven elements of FINESSE are Frame, Illustrate, Noise reduction, Empathy, Structure, Synergy, and Ethics.
As a mental model, FINESSE reminds us how effective communication in the real world works. As a literary construction, the mnemonic makes it easy to remember the things that matter most. As an association tool, FINESSE helps us organize the thousands of communication tips into seven buckets.
Our Guest Contributors in 2022
There was guarded optimism as we launched Communicating with FINESSE as a community in the first quarter of 2022. Our stretch goal was three guest articles each month on our website. We achieved the base goal of two.
Guest articles ranged from presidents of companies to technically trained professionals on the front lines. The common attribute of the writers was experience and success.
Guest contributors came from various market sectors, geographies, and experiences. All had the freedom to choose any topic of experience that reflected their perspectives on effective communication.
The 2022 Guest Articles
Jeff Lineberger: The Path to the Mind Travels Easiest Through the Heart
Frank Williams: Don’t Confuse Them with the Facts
Dan Vallero: Translational Engineering: Academics and Careers
Melissa Ruth: FINESSE is More Than Strategy
Frank Seindenthal: Is Everyone Aligned With Your Company Standards?
Michelle Ledet Henley: Why Storytelling Might Be the Most Important Reliability Tool You Never Knew You Needed
Some commonalities emerged. For example, Dan Vallero and Adrian Messer both wrote about effective communication and careers. Rebecca Boyer and Jessica Morgan shared personal stories of effective communication with the visual and hearing impaired. Gustavo Vinueza and David Baize discussed keeping it simple. Paul Crockers and Bon Latino stressed the importance of relating everything to money. Michelle Henley, Jeff Lineberger, and Frank Williams stressed avoiding reliance on facts and using storytelling. The list goes on.
Applying the Insights
If you are interested in communicating with FINESSE, read this collection of insights and make a few notes. Then start mapping your key takeaways to the FINESSE fishbone diagram. Apply those insights through FINESSE and you will start to see your communication become more effective.
Let us know if you are interested in sharing a "5-paragraph" guest article on a topic or a real-world story in 2023. Collaborating with other technically trained professionals is a core aspect of the community.
Founded by JD Solomon, Communicating with FINESSE is the community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective trusted advisors and getting the boss’s boss to understand. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.