Visual Thinking in the company: The art of communicating

Visual Thinking

In the course of this article we will talk about  Visual Thinking, explaining what it is and sharing different ideas on this practice, which is really appreciated in the most innovative and disruptive environments.

Here we will describe what is Visual Thinking, how it can be useful in the company, during meetings, calls or training seminars. Finally we will offer you a first package of ideas and experiences that we have selected for you. As we continue on this issue, the cases to be presented will also be enriched.

As you will have understood, this is a particularly broad theme that we have decided to divide into several articles and what you are reading is the first in the series.

What is ‘good communication’ for us?

Communication is one of those “evergreen” themes on which many express themselves and will continue to express themselves to the bitter end. At the base of this interest, however, the desire to use communication for purposes of self-reference is increasingly hidden. Based on our experience, good communication is the one that starts from listening to the other and that allows us to answer questions such as: what does the customer want? What are you trying to tell me? What are your priorities? For us, in short, “to receive” comes before “transmitting”. But it is not said that this should apply to everyone, simply this is the right way for us.

Imagine being in a meeting with your most important customer: so much information, the weight of the week on your shoulders, little time available to manage effectively to avoid misunderstandings and idle work.  In situations like this, where communication is very complex and full of content, “to receive” becomes problematic, “to understand” almost impossible.

Visual Thinking

This happens because, in everyday reality, communication is not limited to the simple functions of emission and reception, but becomes effective only when this exchange produces understanding. For a series of reasons, on the other hand, a divergence in terms of communication codes can create a barrier between the issuer and the recipient that can even be impassable. The effect of ineffective interactions is the stalemate: the three-headed monster with whom we all had to fight each other at least once (i.e.: “Where did we stay the last time?” And then start again from the beginning).

In certain situations, some practices can help us to go straight to the point, improve mutual understanding and manage the digressions, which are not significant for our work but are important, being involved not automata, but people and relationships.

Return to the primordial!

A “lifesaving” practice in these situations is precisely the Visual Thinking that through visual representations allows to communicate any content in a very quick and functional way.

The act of graphically representing the concepts – already at the dawn of human history – served to translate the flow of the spoken language into something tangible and tangible. The written text is in fact linked to analysis and reflection, the spoken text to the sphere of emotions. Precisely in order to fix the concepts, besides the phonetic writing (that is the transcription of the sounds of the spoken language) there has always been another type of writing, the ideograph one, based on signs and drawings with a totally visual value (think of the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, or … to emoticons!).

We deduce that in order to make the most of a meeting with a client, supplier or with a team member, communication should maintain its “primordial” traits, that is to say remain simple, direct and concrete and at the same distance away from each character as much as possible flat and conventional.

Just by working through drawings, which are tangible and at the same time very creative, it is possible to organize ideas, to take notes more effectively. These drawings use a more immediate scheme and therefore increase communication involvement and effectiveness.

Signs and drawings can be kept in our notebook or in our app, or even be reworked on a blackboard that allows you to visually focus on the same “mental plot”, having the entire development of the meeting under your eyes.

As you may have guessed, Visual Thinking is a real mindset. In fact, it offers a precious opportunity to immediately confront the output of the meeting, together with the people we have imagined.

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