Three Lessons to Improve Your Team’s Communication

How local engineers at PaperWise learned to break the language barrier.

By Rose Marthis

Mar 2018

Break the Language Barrier

Paperwise CEO Dan Langhofer and Chief Operating Officer Hunter Abbey share what they learned about clearing up communication between its web engineers and clients, and how the lessons can apply to everyone.

Speak the Same Language
Engineers used to hear a problem from the client and then set loose to solve it. Both parties thought they knew what they wanted, but that was rarely the case. So the company implemented a UX team to define the user experience graphically without any code, ensuring that everyone was on the same page.

Set Expectations Early
Treat every meeting with the formality of an up-front contract, Abbey suggests. Define the why, the objectives and the expectations for who leads the discussion and what that discussion should be, and make sure all attendees are on board with the meeting’s purpose, mission and goals you want to achieve. 

Follow Up 
Even after both sides agree and expectations are set, you can’t assume nothing has changed, Abbey says. Start each meeting by reviewing what progress has been made. Continue to verify that both sides are hearing what the other is saying. “Restate what you think you know,” Langhofer says.