How to be on the same wavelenght ?

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Beeing on the same wavelength

If you’re like me, you’ve probably already felt the feeling that a conversation or a situation is weird. Nothing could have anticipated the discomfort. The discussion is about a common passion and yet the conversation you’re having is awkward. It’s simple to describe, we often use the expression: we are not on the same wavelength!

Have you ever wondered where the expression comes from, as a physics engineer I’ve asked myself the question. I’ve been looking at this using basic physics to explain the phenomena.

But, before we start below a few examples of a situation where we are not on the same wavelength.


Not being on the same wavelength

It’s an extraordinary day and you’re going to ski with friends. You meet a new fried last week. The person is a ski fan. Perfect, you will ski this weekend, you decided to invite him. Very happy the person says yes, you seem to have the same passion. You both go skiing often, and you like to have fun. Everything looks perfect, and it may be your new favourite ski partner.

In the action you begin to understand that you are not on the same wavelength. He likes to ski from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. without missing a second. He doesn’t really have time to eat, it’s impossible to miss out for a minute. During the descent, no time to take pictures or talk, he’s already down impatiently waiting at the chair. And even on the chair climb he doesn’t talk. He wants to take the “single track  lane” to go faster. Worst would be that your new friend is pressuring you to go faster than what you feel safe. 

What’s is happening ? You both like skiing. You go often and you’re both good skiers. So—what’s going on?

Well, the speed of the action and the details level of what makes you vibrate aren’t the same.

There are two important elements to be on the same wavelength.

  1. speed
  2. objectives/passions (frequency)

Often, the solution to properly interact with collegues and partners is to play with speed and clarify of common objectives.


Physics phenomena – wavelength 

The most fascinating thing for the physicist engineer that I am is that there is a basic formula that links : speed, wavelength and frequency.

“λ = v/f”

λ = wavelength, v= speed, f = frequency

To be on the same wavelength, there are two elements on which one must adapt speed and frequency. Frequency is what keeps us vibrating. Please read this blog post on frequency to know more about it.


How to be on the same wavelength?

Starting today ! Add speed and frequency as an important concept in your life.

Being aware of them will allow you to adjust to them. Chances are you’ll go further and develop stronger relationships and become a great leader if you do.

The next time you are in a weird situation of discomfort ask yourself:

  1. Is speed at stake?
  2. Am I trying to move too fast for the team?
  3. Are others moving too quickly for me?
  4. Is it urgent? Why do I have to go so quickly?
  5. What is really important to me in this situation?

So go ahead! Use the expression and the concept of being on the same wavelength and you.

  • Will go further in one shot as you’ll be synchronized with others.
  • Will develop a better style of leadership.
  • Will achieve your goals much more often and while building strong relationships.

Bonus : Create a safe workplace environment

Description of the situation

You are in charge of a project and at your team meeting you would like to close the project, in order to move on. You think there are only a few minor details left and the project could be closed. You believed everybody would think the same but it didn’t go quite as you predicted.

In fact, the little details, for you, are actually important to someone. So in the meeting you hear a lot of feedback about the fact it’s not yet time to close the project.

If you decide to close the project now it will send the signal that the details they care about and have been working on are not important. In addition, they may perceive that their views are not being considered. It’s not ideal for team spirit and will set the tone for the next project where you will collaborate.

Potential solutions

What is interesting here is the fact that both options are possible and potentially okay. We could close the project or wait. So why don’t we wait and go at a speed acceptable to everyone?

Sometime we think it’s better to go faster, but is it the only metrics ? 

It’s nothing to wait for a small detail but it will make a great deal to be on the same wavelength. If it’s a small detail as you believe, then everything should be quickly resolved and not have any real impact. And if in the end, it’s bigger than expected than maybe the project wasn’t really finished. So there are several cases were waiting as it’s benefits.

Going at the right speed is essential to include everyone and create a safe and inclusive work environment.

If speed is critical for an external customer and the final date critical to be now. We can team up to complete the details altogether, strenghen the team and everyone will be on the same wavelength to finish the job at a great level if quality where everyone details are important. 

Speed is too often forgotten in our lives, but it is crucial.


What’s next ?

I hope you liked this blog post and concept. If you have questions and want to go futher in the discussion please don’t hesitate to discuss with me below. 

Tell me what you observed when you adjusted your speed and frequency to become on the same wavelength ! 


You can’t go faster than the slowest speed if you want to stay synchronized and safe


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