The invisible team and the common language

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Luca Casali: “You should know that earlier, during dinner, Catia who is part of Simone Moro and Marianna Zanatta’s invisible team, told us that when Simone and Marianna talk on the phone no one can understand what they are saying. They communicate, apparently, without saying anything. But they, only they, understand each other perfectly.”

“Ahaha, true!”

Every work group, small and large, consciously or unconsciously, develops its own specific language code that is understandable only by those who are part of it. This is the result of sharing experiences and a daily routine over time, the longer the time the more that private and exclusive language is enriched with vocabulary, meanings, subtexts, said and unsaid.

There are many advantages to having a common language. First of all, it allows you to communicate faster and more precisely, to say more by saying less.

“With Simone, it’s essential to say more by saying less, and it’s better if you do it in the shortest amount of time possible. After 20 years of professional life together, I can express the concept in 5 minutes because I know that if I can’t do it – and it doesn’t matter how important and substantial the concept is – I won’t be able to get what I need from him: whether it’s an answer, a confirmation, or another useful question.”

Let’s think about this. For him, in his field of operation – mountains and mountaineering – it’s definitely a matter of life and death. When a mistake could have life-threatening consequences, concise communication is crucial. Immediate understanding of coded language is more than necessary, it’s vital.

But you don’t need to work in life-or-death scenarios to reap the benefits of effective communication. In the workplace, it’s about building trust, increasing productivity and having some distinct advantages.”

Speed in the work process and “chunking”

Increasing speed means completing tasks faster, while also reducing time spent on unnecessary tasks: downtime is naturally reduced when concepts don’t have to be fully explained to be understood.

Slang and expressions within a common language do something called “chunking,” or compartmentalization of information*. You communicate using terms or phrases which denote more complex concepts or collections of information, and you save valuable time in the process.

Enhance the relationship by creating complicity

A certain common language naturally develops through shared experiences. This is why we make jokes with best friends and not casual acquaintances. With best friends, we share a mutual – and often indescribable – understanding that we don’t have with strangers.

According to a 2005 study, these mutual experiences build trust, which promotes deeper levels of interaction and expression.

That’s the virtuous circle: we have the opportunity to create a common language when we’re willing to invest in a long-term relationship, and then a long-term relationship that uses a common language benefits from the same by constantly improving, because the common language helps create and grow complicity.

Okay, I realize this sounds like couples therapy talk, but in the end in business isn’t it always about relationships?

As I said at the beginning, common language is built over the medium and long term. Again: only a relationship that lasts over time allows for this benefit.

So what are the tips for getting to create good working relationships that lead to this benefit?

Here are 9 + 1:

  • Maintain your identity
  • Create your own goals
  • Create shared goals
  • Accept compromise
  • Understand each other’s communication styles
  • Say exactly what you want to say (without fear of reaction)**
  • Learn to listen
  • Create space for clarification
  • Embrace healthy conflicts

+ 1: Dream big, provide/share the dream, believe in a project, believe in teamwork, invest in the team, put your soul into it, don’t be/not want mercenaries.

Turnovers serve other needs – not that of effective communication – and definitely lead to other effects. On the other hand, making a relationship last involves a vision and a desire upstream and a great commitment afterwards, including effort and hard work. But the results are other, on a business level and above all on a human level.

The book with a click 👉 THE INVISIBLE TEAM (for the moment available only in Italian, if you’re an American publisher and interested in publishing the book send contact me at

*For further information search for web articles on chunking and Miller’s theory

** and the Tell Culture