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Stand Up!

As architects, many of us have grown from highly technical positions where our success derived mainly from our ability to talk with machines. However, in the role of architect much of our communication is now done with our fellow human beings. Moreover, our use of machines now focuses on creating content for human consumption.

As much as we wish it weren’t so, the “rightness” of our guidance won’t necessarily make developers or managers accept it. And, truth be told, an architect whose guidance is consistently not followed may need those same communication skills in the interviews coming his way :)

Although many books can be written on the topic (and, indeed, many have), I wanted to call out one simple, practical, easy to employ tip that will increase your effectiveness as an architect.

If you’re in any situation where you’re talking to more than one person about your guidance, stand up.

This may be a formal design review, or an informal discussion over some diagrams, it doesn’t matter. Especially if everyone else is sitting down, standing up automatically communicates authority and self confidence. You’ll also notice that once you stand, you’ll start making more use of your hands and other body language. When speaking to groups of 10 or more people, standing up will also ensure you can make eye contact with everybody. These two factors account for 55% of communication.

What this means is that if you’ve been using the perfect words, pitch, speed, volume, and tone of voice, you’ll more than double your effectiveness.

By Udi Dahan

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3

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