Like Riding a Bicycle

Proactive communication is key to working well on a proposal team. Here’s a story that illustrates the point. 

Two bicycles streak towards me.  All helmets and matching spandex, their operators look like serious riders.  As they approach the corner, the woman indicates their proposed route of flight, stretching her right arm straight out from her body and holding the pose for a few seconds.  A little whoosh and they are gone.  Not a motion wasted.

More importantly, not a risk taken.  All the drivers at or near the intersection know exactly what the bikes are doing: which way they are going.

Don’t get me started on cyclists who alternate between behaving like pedestrians and like cars, depending on what suits them at the moment.  Convenient for them, of course, but dreadfully unpredictable in an environment in which predictability can be all that prevents a collision the cyclist can’t win.

“Proactive”: as a buzz word, it’s overused in Proposal Land writing.  As a communication style, it’s under-used.  Wondering whether someone else on the proposal team needs to know what you’re doing or where you’re “going”?  The answer, most likely, is “Yes.” Like a proactive cyclist in traffic, get your arm up in lots of time.

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