Inter-department communication

Oh yea, finally a topic worthy of me getting my Karen mode on. I’m starting to really question whether my rants on the internet are worth it, because it seems i’m expressing a lot about myself ha.

Anyhow… if someone were to ask me what takes most of your energy over a course of a month. I would have to say that inter-department communication is right there at the top. Before we go ahead, I want to express that I’m highly defensive of my team.

It’s kinda ingrained in me from my childhood. My mother always defended me in front of other people (when I messed up, and boy was I a trouble maker) but she also berated the living shit out of me when we got back home. Regardless, we were a team out in public but behind the curtains me being the little shit that I was, got my fair share of “disciplining”. 90s kids will understand. Sigh.

So back to the point at hand. So yeah always defending my team on slack in public, making sure that nobody can say anything negative to them but behind close doors, being the manager that I am, if they fuck up, well let’s just say the lucifer version of el patron comes out.

Alright, don’t cancel me. The 10 views that I will get on this article though, I doubt will get me cancelled haha.

So why the whole defending spiel and the story of my childhood, well because most of the companies that I worked at never really nailed down the inter-department communication. People calling each other out, teams moaning and complaining about other team’s work. Things going in a spiral is never a good look and a good indicator of knowing you have garbage communication amongst the teams is when there are constant bottlenecks, issues, things that cause many delays in getting even the simplest of tasks done.

You know the worst thing is that at the end of the day, it’s the team members along with prospects and customers that end up paying the price for these gaps in communication. Morale, lost opportunities and customers churning to name a few. When people are not the same page, things never are going to be structured and rightfully so will piss people off.

So here I come as always with all the solutions. Ha. But on a serious note, shit communication between teams is a real pain point for a lot of folks and it really destroys any ability to build out a company that is strong culturally. There is no way you can align all the people together towards a common goal if they are not communicating well amongst each other.

Alright so let’s break the solutions down and figure out what folks can do to make sure that these issues don’t become a monstrosity to begin with. You know kinda like, fixing a car’s issues before they end up happening, like preemptive repair kinda thing. God, reminds of the old BMW I bought once, what a money pit, preemptive care is really the key here!


I cannot stress this enough. My personal favorite is creating a Notion doc and listing out every possible thing that the teams need to write down regarding their processes. I mean go really really deep and dumb it down.

Why? Well, given this is a space in which you have a lot of knowledge, others might not. So, to make things easy for them and for new people joining the team/company, make sure that the guidelines are simple, clear and laid out in layman terms.

If there is a baseline where the customer support team handles customers, write it down. If there is a threshold in which the success team kicks in to take care of the customers, write it down in a detailed manner. What tools you use, where data is stored, what the process for each and every credit or refund given looks like and most importantly, who is responsible for what in each and every team.

You make those things crystal clear, the chances there will be a miscommunication will be infinitesimally lower. That does not mean that guidelines alone will work, of course not. But coupled that with other practices that I will mention ahead are a good way to make sure that everybody is on the same page in your team as well as the company.

You know the one thing that i’m a big advocate for is making sure that before people ask you questions, they go ahead and take a look at the resources available such as guidelines. This not only makes them proactive but also lowers the need for constant slack messages, as everyone now knows where they need to go to find information that is relevant. These are just standard good practices that every team should implement to avoid bottlenecks.

Just a tid bit, please make sure that everybody in the company has access to the platform you end up using to keep all your documentation in on place. It defeats the purpose of having documentation, if nobody can access it.


I was reading somewhere that most of the issues, if not all in the workplace can be resolved with communication. I tend to agree with that statement. Think of this way, would it be helpful if someone keeps pointing out the mistakes you make instead of approaching you and ask you if you need help?

I hope you picked the latter option… Point being, quite often what teams end up doing wrong is build this herd mentality of us vs them. While this works great on the football field, it’s not a great tactic in a company. Because the company for better or for worse have people that are all going in the same direction. Their goal is the same.

So what doesn’t help or work in this scenario is constant complaining of how the other team is not doing a great job. You know they might actually not be doing a good job, but that does not mean they are doing it purposefully. Maybe the manager is inexperienced, or they simply cannot see the solution to the issues that they are facing.

In cases like these, the best option is to go ahead and make sure that you are communicating with the other team and asking them how you can help.

Stop telling the other teams and start listening to them and their concerns and ideas. They might actually have some insights on how you can do better and you might have ideas on how they could do better. Things tend to look clearer when you are looking at them from the outside. Because when you are on the inside, you often are too close to the problem or too vested, which can cause complications.

The other thing that has certainly helped me in the past is leading by example by helping the other team without asking for anything in return.

Create [by doing] a culture of helping.

It’s important that eventually you do ask them to help you when and if you need it, but don’t do that by dumping busy work on those teams or anything. Instead, ask their insights and if their skillsets and passions align, they may respond by offering to do a certain piece of the project. It’s more of an invitation. Try involving people and bringing them closer than focusing on critique alone.

One thing that I see people do less of and I wish they did more of, is just speaking to the other team about how and what they are doing is affecting your work. A typical example of this would be the product breaking, now the product team probably is aware of the fact that the customers are suffering but they don’t know what is happening on the backend for you as a CSM, how your relationship with the customer gets strained every time there is an issue inside of the product.

The only way they will understand this is you personally help them understand or explain what is causing issues for you at work and how it’s affecting your metrics. No one wants things to break, but it is part and parcel of the job. Communicating things openly and the right way is the only way of making sure that the message gets across.

I know a lot of people are actually scared of telling colleagues what they think they are doing wrong and I get it. But remember you cannot bring about change if you are not willing to voice your opinions.

Change cannot happen in a vacuum. Someone needs to stand up and push it through. Be that person.

Determine the root cause

The goal here is to measure and see the cause of the strained relationship and attack that directly.

Resource constraints are often the source of conflicts. Clear goals understood by all teams helps provide a framework to resolve those conflicts.

It’s extremely important to ensure that the cause is determined before you go ahead and communicate anything with the other teams. Often times we have our own bias that comes in to place as well.

How’s that?

We might feel like that a particular team never reaches out to the customer on time. Sure that may very well be the case, but if you look closer they are replying within the time limit that has been set out for them. So before you blame other team members or teams, instead have a look at what exactly is causing the “issues” in the first place.

How often does it happen? Is it a daily or a weekly reoccurrence? How does it all affect your work and metrics? Alright, now that you have all the data that you need, you can go ahead and have a conversation with the other teams and help them see your perspective.

The critical thing here is to ensure that you’re not being rude or coming off as really aggressive. You need to get things done, and for that you need the other team’s help for that. Approach them in a way that does not put you on a collision path.

Absolutely no one likes to be critiqued, so if they mess up, be gracious and help them become better. You do that and not only your work relationship will get better but you will have other teams respect you for it as well.

Recognize good work

It’s very easy to give shit to people for the job not well done. It’s much harder to recognize a job that is being done well, or someone who did a really good job.

Once you have explained in detail where the other team can improve. It’s now time to ensure that when they do a good job, you recognize it. Reason for that is simple, people react positively to positive feedback. It also helps them recognize what the gold standard is and how they can do better.

This is where you have to be the one who needs to be the bigger (wo)man. Someone smart once once told me that “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Meaning it’s a good idea to be nice to others. You can win people over that way rather than being an ass****.

If you recognize people for doing a job well, they will be more inclined to mull your suggestions over and of course apply them into their processes. If you are rude about it and not considerate, the chances of making a change torpedoes.

Be the change you want to see

Perhaps the most difficult one of them all is this one right here. Change is difficult, especially if you are telling folks to change their processes that they have spent years building up.

Trust me, I know it first hand. It hurts a lot. But I also know that without that change you as a professional as well as personally will never grow. So the best thing to do here is, before you start sharing advice with people and other teams, make sure you first resolve the major issues that other teams are facing due to your team.

And believe me, there is always something you can do better. All it takes is how far and long are you willing to dig. If you start by making changes that are positively affecting yourself, it will make it that much easier for other teams to be receptive of the changes you want them to make to help with your workflow.

In my experience, inflated egos are never good when it comes to collaborating and while it may seem like the easiest option, it’s always the one that is difficult that helps you achieve your goals.

Last thing I want to mention here is that if something doesn’t work between the teams. Instead of hiding behind the silos, the best option is to have a candid conversation, best over a beer(or a shot). And resolve the issues.

Part of being a grown up is understanding only you can resolve issues that are facing you. 9 out of 10 times if something is wrong, chances are blame for that lies squarely at your feet.

Happy selling!


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