Whether you’re an engineer, manager or mentor, communication is an essential skill. Great communication skills help you deliver complex ideas and technical project plans in a clear, concise manner. Communicating with engineers especially is never a one-size-fits-all thing; it depends on your audience, the situation, and your level of expertise. Here are 5 helpful tips to improve your communications with engineering teams.
1. Know The Problem
Before communicating with engineers, know the problem and how it aligns with your company’s vision and strategy. This way, you can make your team understand why they need to get involved and how their work affects the rest of the organization. Engineers are not machine-driven, and they need a strong relationship with their peers to get the job done. By communicating clearly and respectfully, you can create a positive, productive environment where engineers feel comfortable and empowered to contribute their ideas.
2. Know The Solution
Using the right words to convey your ideas, presenting your vision in the right way, and following up on follow-ups are key to effectively communicating with engineers. Engineers are usually logical, practical, and straightforward in their approaches to problem solving. This is one of the reasons that they’re likely to come up with the best solution to the problem you’ve presented them with. The key is to find out what’s the best solution and then present it in a way that makes it easy for them to implement. Once you’ve done that, you’re well on your way to a successful collaborative effort with your engineering team.
3. Know The People
The simplest and most effective way to do this is by being upfront about what you want to say. This way, they’ll know what you need and will feel more confident in providing their feedback. It also helps if you can include them in the decision-making process, by making it clear that their opinion matters to the end result.
4. Know The Language
If you are going to communicate with engineers, it is best to learn their language. This is the language they speak at work, and it’s important to understand how you should convey your message in a way that makes sense to them. For example, if you use too much technical jargon with them, they may find it hard to understand what you’re saying. Engineers need to know how to present their ideas clearly, so they can share them with their audience and get feedback.
5. Know The Culture
In a globalized world, engineers must be able to communicate effectively with people from different cultures. However, many current educational approaches do not develop the skills needed for intercultural communication in engineering. To address this gap, a mixed-methods approach was developed. A corpus-assisted discourse analysis of relevant articles published in leading engineering education journals between 2000 and 2015 was combined with a close reading of each article and a critical discussion of two representative articles. This analysis revealed a mix of approaches to culture in engineering education and research, which is indicative of the complex, intercultural global contexts that engineers work in today. Approximately half of the papers taken from our sample took an essentialist culture-as-given stance, while the other half adopted a constructivist view of culture.