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Three Communication Mental Models for Engineering Leaders
Hey there! 👋
On Thursdays, we share mental models, frameworks, books, and tools we've mentioned on the podcast (or ones we're currently geeking out about).
This week, we're diving into three communication mental models that engineering leaders can use to guide their teams.
Let's jump in!
1. Conway's Law
Use for 👉 Optimizing your team's communication patterns to boost velocity, improve quality, and scale effectively.
As we've discussed on the podcast, Conway's Law states that the structure of a system designed by an organization is a copy of its communication structure.
Understanding this principle is key for scaling engineering teams and boosting velocity.
By applying Conway's Law, you'll grasp the importance of communication structures in shaping your team's success. Embrace this mental model to optimize your team's communication patterns and drive better outcomes.
TL;DR: Align your organization's communication structure with your system designs for maximum efficiency.
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2. Lines of Communication
Use for 👉 More evidence of how important good communication is (and why you should be mindful when scaling your teams).
As you add team members and managers, new lines of communication emerge. It doesn’t sound dramatic, but check this out:
In case you needed another reason to work on your communication, just refer back to this chart. ☝️
To ensure efficient collaboration, be mindful of these evolving communication dynamics. Dave Nicolette from Leading Agile (where this chart is from) explains that effective communication is key to any project, especially when using Agile principles.
By understanding the Lines of Communication mental model, engineering leaders can structure their teams for maximum effectiveness.
TL;DR: Be aware of the lines of communication when structuring your teams to promote smooth collaboration.
The Competence Confidence Spectrum
Use for 👉 Being more effective in the exec room as an engineering leader.
Engineering leaders need to strike the right balance between showcasing their competence and exuding confidence.
Jason Warner says: "Lead with confidence, show a little bit of competence, and end with confidence again."
Engineering leaders often struggle with this because they had to be execution machines in the early days of the business, but at some point, the time comes to become an exceptional communicator.
This mental model can help engineering leaders adapt their communication styles to convey both competence and confidence, projecting an "I've got this!" message while demonstrating their ability to handle complex tasks.
TL;DR: Master the Competence Confidence Spectrum to communicate effectively as an engineering leader.
If you enjoyed these, check out these mental models to help with your decision-making →
We’ll be back in a week with more insights for you! ❤️️
In the meantime, catch-up with this episodes from the podcast, where some of these mental models come from:
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