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Producer’s Tip: Learn How People Hear Things

August 18, 2011

Directing music videos in Africa

Just a quick tip for Producers and those who dream of that lofty position. Don’t assume communication is received, just because you sent it! In the real world of crew members, actors, and businesses, people hear things in different ways. As a Producer, you will certainly need to adapt to many different styles in order to make your project come off smoothly.

For instance, you may be in the habit of communicating almost exclusively via text messages, e-mail, or phone calls. Most people emphasize one of these as their primary mode of communication. On my production team, however, I have to learn how my collaborators prefer to communicate – AND, which methods I can count on to really have them HEAR the message I’m sending.

My rule is; if the conversation is not two-way then you have not communicated. It need not be simultaneous, like in a phone call or face-to-face conversation. But you cannot say you’ve communicated until you hear back from the person. It’s like leaving a phone message; if they don’t respond, it doesn’t count. You can’t say, “I talked with them.”

Never assume what you mean to say has been heard until you get that feedback. And you must learn how different collaborators on your team like to communicate. It’s something I’m constantly working on and learning.

If you don’t like this, try animation and work alone in your basement. 😉

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