Aha Handbook

Effective Communication

How to communicate effectively with your team.

1. Take notes

  • Capture in bullet points. Process, synthesize, and frame in real-time.

2. Don’t criticize or complain

  • Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to them directly.

3. Communicate specific expectations clearly, openly, and often

4. Communicate succinctly and err on clarity

  • Use lowest common denominator — keep your point simple
  • Be specific in speech, writing, and with who/what/where/when/why/how
  • Always give a concise, to-the-point answer first, then go into relevant details as 
  • Present information in a clear and organized way, keeping the messaging framed 
within the goal of the communication

5. Confirm specific next steps to close out open items

  • Confirm what specific action needs to be taken to achieve success

6. Playback expectations and define success

  • For an action to be taken, playback (verbally or electronically) the expected deliverable and define what success looks like as a result of the action

7. Keep communication channels open

  • Have Slack and phone available so that the team can contact you quickly

8. Avoid pointless jargon, buzzwords, and acronyms

9. Avoid speaking in pronouns

  • Clearly state who or what you are talking about by name to avoid confusion
  • Profanity is OK only when not used to threaten or intimidate