RE: Understanding verbal communication in a team

Subject: RE: Understanding verbal communication in a team
From: "Lorraine Butchart" <Lorraine -dot- Butchart -at- corel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 2002 13:24:21 -0400

>The problem is that while each person (there are 7 people on the
>application 2 SMEs, 2 database SMEs, 1 network infrastructure SME, and
me, the writer-
>SME) can be understood with minimal effort, one of them has such a
strong accent that
>less than 10% can be understood even with dedicated effort.

I've had a similar problem with the team lead for the project I've been
working on for the past nine months. Rest assured, that 10% will go up
slowly as you get to know your SME and his/her speech patterns. However,
in the meantime, you might try the "show-me" approach if that is
possible in your situation. I found with my team lead, especially in the
first couple of months of our collaboration, if I could get him to show
me what he meant, either in a diagram or by performing the procedure he
was talking about, not only did it help me figure out what he was
talking about, but it also helped me figure out how what he was saying
corresponded to what he meant.

I also tried getting him to send me e-mails by asking my questions in
e-mail format, but that didn't work all that well: he finds writing in
English even more difficult than speaking English, and tended to come
around to my desk to try to answer the questions in my e-mail in person
rather than responding to the e-mail.

Lorraine L. Butchart
Documentation Specialist

Corel Corporation
Vancouver Office
phone: (604) 430-1966 Ext 4429
e-mail: Lorraine -dot- Butchart -at- corel -dot- com

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