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For Managers, Repetition Matters

It sounds simple: As you move up the ladder and take on more responsibility as a manager, you will spend more time on communication. In fact, your job in terms of time, will likely be mostly "communicating" once you are an executive: Communicating decisions, communicating vision, communicating expectations, communicating wins, communicating loses, and communicating change.

Communicating is a central responsibility of management. Management must be constantly transiting information from top down and from across down to ensure their organization can make the best decisions and ultimately impact the business positively.

My first bit of advice, where applicable, is that communications should be as simple as possible. You don't want to obfuscate by omission, but you also don't want what matters to get lost in the detail.  It's an optimization problem: You want to share the most compendious set of information so that your team is aware and can act.

That's tricky, but something that starts to become more intuitive the more miles you put on as a manager. The key here is simple communication from you, but access to information for intrepid individuals to deep dive if they want more context.

Second piece of advice: For complex ideas, you need repetition.  You need obnoxious repetition. Structuring regular team get togethers is important (like Kickoffs and Retros) to drive things home. At a company level, the weekly all hands should continue to reiterate the most important messages the company has regarding vision and product. Drop down 1:1s help directly connect senior folks setting the strategy with IC folks executing; do these regularly, try to talk to everyone either quarterly or yearly depending on the org size. Basically, you want to be having regular touch points as a company, team and directly with individuals and you want to focus this time on communicating the most important messages the company needs to drive home.

Finally, if it is really complex, make sure there is a narrative or white paper available for people. Set up time to review and talk about sections from it. PowerPoint and Email can help communicate, but a written document, while harder to get everyone to read, will more precisely and thoughtfully handle concerns and leave a more indelible image. Those who read it, will act as tutors for those who don't. A clearly written and comprehensive document empowers people at all levels to reify the messaging.

For important strategic moves, you really need everyone on the same page. Repetition and changing of medium (written vs auditory vs vision) can help different folks grok the important concepts.

Nail this, and everything gets easier. Execution is better and employee happiness actually improves. You can't say important messages enough times and the importance of everyone to understand those messages can not be overstated.

Trent Krupp

VP of Operations at Triplebyte. Founded an agency in my 20's, sold it to Hired and became employee 5. Recruited for Atomic (VC), Credit Sesame and MakerSights. Helped the founders of recruitment tech startups Shift.org, Terminal and Beacon in the early days.

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