Valentine’s day – have you sent your partner a message today?

February 14th, 2008 by Johannes Carlén

Today is Valentine’s day and if you haven’t yet thought about what you are doing for your loved one tonight, you’d better start now. It’s winter now (at least here in Sweden) and you don’t want to be out in the cold, do you…? Well, anyway, I think you can agree with me that one of the foundation stones of love is the ability to communicate with each other.

I don’t really see myself as an expert of communications between loved ones and this blog is not generally about celebration of love but more like a celebration of our own love to knowledge, information and aid to our clients, but I’ll make an exception here.. So.. if you’re having trouble communicating with your beloved, please continue to read on.

My job as a consultant – developer and architect, is very much about helping clients to communicate with business partners in the best possible way. In a sense you might think of me as some kind of a therapist, sitting down with my clients, sorting out their problems asking questions like “…and what do You think about that”, making it easier for everyone to see what the problem is. And then perhaps reaching an understanding of what we need to do to get the communication flowing and hopefully, at the end of the session, we might have a conversation going that helps their relation to continue and grow more and more mature over time.

So you might say that helping partners to communicate is an important part of my job and to discover patterns of behaviour that reoccur over time, or perhaps create new behavioural patterns that might be more creative for the relationship in question. The same patterns occur over and over again when communicating (or lack thereof) and they are often easy to discover but not that easy to change. The same goes for businesses and communication between business partners.

Luckily there is aid to find on the web. On Gregor Hohpe’s excellent book and site on enterprise integration patterns, specifically the messaging pattern, you can read: “Use Messaging to transfer packets of data frequently, immediately, reliably, and asynchronously, using customizable formats.”. Well isn’t that the receipt for keeping your love going and growing? Let’s disect that sentence and put it into a different context.

In order for a relationship to really be a lasting relationship we need to exchange information on a regular and frequent basis, i.e. the more communication the better. There is really no time to throw away either, life’s to short for that so start communicating immediately.

A part of messaging is to make sure your partner really got the message, if you know what I mean. So be clear in your message so there is no doubt what you are talking about and to be sure that the message really reaches your partner. Some sort of message reliability that is.

An example of asynchronous messaging could be leaving a sweet message on the breakfast table or perhaps a rose beside the pillow before leaving for work in the morning. An asynchronous action that later might lead to an email or a phone call where your partner confirms their love for you. It’s that easy really…

Lastly, mr. Hohpe talks about customizable formats and that is, I must say, what Valentine’s day is all about. Using well known patterns and formats, customizing them to your needs to maintain your relationship. As easy as that, yeah? Uhm, not really, but perhaps some words to help you on your way anyway.

Have a nice Valentine’s day!

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