We place immense emphasis on the importance of communication between the company and the technology partner because it is essential for that working relationship to prosper. It occurs as in all human and interpersonal relationships: if two people do not speak, the relationship cools down and becomes distant, until it reaches a point of zero understanding of the parties. That is the worst thing that can happen in both a personal and work relationship.
That is why we will tell you about those communication strategies that have worked for us in our workflow and that we consider can be useful for any company:
The first weeks of working with your technology partner will be one of adaptation and mutual understanding. You will be getting to know him and evaluating the quality of his work and performance in the project, and the partner will be trying to catch up with the context of the company to direct and execute his tasks in the most effective way possible.
At this stage, the best communication strategy that we can recommend is: listen. Yes, a fairly simple and basic action but one that has immense potential and benefit. Basically, many times even though we are hearing the other person, we are not really "listening" to them.
Listening to the other is about internalizing what he is saying, analyzing it without premature judgment or predisposition, to understand his point of view and act on it. This practice allows for a mutual and effective understanding between the company and the partner, making their relationship and the work itself flow better.
It is useless for your partner to listen to what you are saying about the project you want when he is not trying to put himself in your place. It is not about the partner imposing his point of view because he is the "specialist", he must try to identify with what you are saying to channel your request and shape it in the development of the project.
And this also applies in the partner-company direction, that is, if the company presents the partner with a project scenario, advising or recommending something favorable for development, he should not dismiss them the first time: he should put himself in the place of the client, try to understand the point of view and from there make the corresponding decisions.
It may happen that at the end of the first work sprint, the partner sends you the reports corresponding to the progress of the project and you find yourself with tasks of which you have no idea because he did not explain them to you previously. This is a clear example of how important it is to have transparent communication with the partner.
Transparent communication is about the members of an organization being able to express themselves freely and assertively, exposing their views, opinions, and concerns in a timely manner regarding the workflow or the projects they are working on. While the company and the partner can have clearer, fluent and honest communication, the greater the successes achieved together will be.
It is necessary that both parties inform the other of the progress of the project, the plans that are in place for each sprint, as well as the achievements or issues that arise in the development of each of the stages of the project.
Approach criticism with empathy
Empathy is a very valuable quality that must be present in any kind of interpersonal relationship, but unfortunately, sometimes it does not exist. I have seen how the relationships of some companies with their partners have deteriorated due to a lack of empathy when communicating criticism.
Let's see, criticism will always be part of any work environment: they serve to point out the improvements that can be achieved in a project. But it should be noted that many times these criticisms are not made with the greatest empathy, on the contrary, causing negative reactions and defensive attitudes.
Facing criticism is very hard, we know, but we privilege empathy above all else and it is what we always recommend to the companies we have worked with. It's about listening carefully and being sensitive to what the other person is feeling.
It seems obvious, but it is not. Many partners believe they are self-sufficient when no one really is: you always need someone else's helping hand, their perspective, and vision to give impetus to projects. It is also a mistake for companies to think that, if they ask for help, it is because they are weak or because they do not know how to do their job well.
Asking for help is one of the most basic and effective communication strategies that never fails when trying to solve a project problem. Whether you are a client or technology partner, the ability to communicate and ask for help will undoubtedly save you from many tangles during development, making the whole project flow faster and more smoothly.