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House rules at work
At work, these sort of unspoken rules exist all the time.
Maybe you wait to see if the most senior person CC'ed on an email will respond first. Maybe the person who leaves last turns off the lights and locks up. Maybe it's well understood (but never formally articulated) that on Fridays, you all order lunch in together, then leave a little bit early.
These unspoken rules add a "humm" to any relationship. It keeps it going consistently without interruption, and for the people whose behaviors helped to shape that norm, certain actions just go on "autopilot" mode.
We structure our meetings like this. We behave on email like that. We interact outside of the office in this other, particular way.
It can feel really nice to know exactly what to expect, without needing to expend any effort in explaining it.
The only problem is -- teams change. New people join. Experienced people leave. And with each new arrival or departure, those unspoken house rules start to glitch up a little bit. For one, it's hard to pick up on the subtleties of these communication nuances in any group. And then of course, there's the matter that the new people might not all naturally fall into sync with the existing crew. If you're focused on hiring a diverse team around you, then it's likely that every additional person brings a separate worldview and set of perspectives that flings a few more feathers in the air each time.
What you get is communication chaos. Some people still play by the old rules. Others start new behaviors. This causes friction, rifts, and confusion. Over time, this might lead to missed cues, a feeling of being "left out" from the tribe, hurt feelings, or worse.
Is it possible to hedge against this?
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