Meta Post (Seven Keys Post Part III) Sun, Sep 13, 2015
It's happening, ya'll. This is a Loop about Staying in the Loop. That essentially means that these words are telling you to read them. WHOOOOOOA!
Ahem. Anyways.Ever wondered who writes instruction manuals? These writers get paid surprisingly well, especially if they're writing technical manuals. That's because they have to write "idiot proof" documents. There's a popular assignment in introductory programming classes called "Making a Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich," where students are directed to write instructions for making the tasty sandwich. Sounds easy? It isn't. Some of the "mistakes" that the professor will make while following student instructions include: grasping the knife by the blade, failing to open the jar of peanut butter, and placing the jelly on the outside of the sandwich. The point is this: if there's any room at all for an instruction or task to be misunderstood, it probably will be.
There are many ways that information can get "lost." It can be corrupted, forgotten, miscommunicated, misunderstood, or simply omitted. That's why we spend so much time explicitly outlining our company culture and mission. Vague expectations and goals lead to unpredictable results (and stressed-out employees). Some people are timid about asking for or giving information, thinking that they'll become a nuisance if they're always following up on every little thing. This may be somewhat obvious, but it bears repeating: people that mess things up because they "just guessed what to do" are infinitely more annoying than those that ask a lot of questions. Ask that question. Let your coworkers or managers know that little piece of info. Keep everyone #intheloop.