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Sledding With Style

boysSledding“Bend your legs and put your feet on top of mine,” I order my partner. “Hold on to the handles or me.” I readjust our position and shimmy over a few feet to the left.  “Are you ready?” I ask.  A tentative “I think so” comes out.  I look ahead to make sure our path is clear. “OK, hold on!” and I push us over the edge.

Our screams fill the chilly night air as we gain speed down the hill.  Faster and bumpier the ride becomes.  Snow is flying all around us.  Our sled spins around and we finally come to rest at the bottom of the hill, facing the path of our descent. “That was amazing!” I hear through laughing breaths.  “Let’s do it again!!”

How do we communicate when sledding?  For me, it’s a combination of two distinct styles.  One is structured while the other is unstructured.  The first is being clear about being ready and therefore prepared.  Are we situated properly?  Are we ready to launch?  Is there anyone in the way?

The second consists of screaming, laughing, and cheering.  This free form communication is spontaneous and is a reaction to the environment.

I see the value in both of these styles and they compliment each other well.  Imagine if your workplace lacked structured communication.  How would anything get done? Or what if your workplace did not encourage spur-of-the-moment interactions?  So much creative thinking and quick problem solving could be lost.

So during these chilly winter days, perhaps sledding can remind you to use a balanced approach of styles when communicating.  Are you ready to go?  Now, let’s scream!

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