Boosting Team Communication: The Power of a Personal Cheat Sheet

by Jeremy Tang

Miscommunications and misunderstandings often occured, even with my most tenured team members. It’s embarrassing to admit that I was expecting them to be mind readers.

It was from chatting with another business owner friend that the idea of the cheat sheet came about in which I wrote down exactly how I like to be communicated with. This was socialised throughout the organisation and to new staff members. Effectively it’s a one page guide on how to interact with me, with points such as:

When you write to me try to use succinct bullet points where possible so that it’s easy to follow.

If you’re emailing about an issue give me 2-3 options on how you think it can be solved and provide me with a recommendation on the option you believe is the best and why. At the very least I want to see you try to work out a resolution

If you’re doing a piece of research include a summary of insights in bullet points rather than just spreadsheets or decks which require me to open the docs to sift through the details

If you want me involved in a meeting send me an outline of the agenda, what you want to achieve and how you’d like me to help you with that objective. If there’s any sensitivities I need be aware of please include in an email

I love frank and constructive feedback on anything including myself. I don’t find it offensive. Quite the opposite, I see it as a sign that you care.

From my experience the Cheat Sheet dramatically reduced friction as it helped team members establish a clear framework for interacting with me. It cuts out any ambiguity thereby improving the efficiency and effectiveness with which I am able to interact and help the team. It’s starting to be adopted by the leadership team as well within Area Ten.

Are there ways you believe you could improve interactions with your team simply by giving them a cheat sheet for you and cutting out any guesswork?

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