Good communication is one of the “secret” ingredients to a team’s success. It builds authentic friendships and relationships between parties, helps get messages and ideas across, and makes teams overcome challenges and difficulties.
No two teams are exactly alike. You have to take the time to know your team and manage communications with each member.
And that’s the beauty of being in a team. There are different dynamics, personalities, and temperaments to consider. No amount of communication training and tips will help if you fail to understand the contexts and the dynamics behind your own team. It is only when these are taken into consideration that communication will work well for you.
Having said that, we have listed a few things for you to do and consider to improve the level of communication in your workplace:
Before you speak, don’t speak.
We understand that you have an important message to communicate to your team. However, not everyone can communicate their thoughts in a clear and organized manner.
Organize your thoughts in your head or write them all down before talking to your team. This way, you can filter out unnecessary details and keep the conciseness and brevity in your messages.
Make time for one-on-ones with your members.
Thank heavens for the wonders of technology. From email to messaging apps to the VOIP phone system at your office, communication has been made easier between parties.
However, despite all the advantages of these cutting edge technologies, there is nothing as effective and efficient as a face-to-face conversation between parties. You don’t have to meet each member of your team daily. You just need to set aside time to regularly meet them to touch base. A once a month meet-up does wonders to improve not just communications but employee morale, too.
Listen to what others are not saying.
While it is important to listen to what others have to say, it takes a much more sensitive manager to hear out what others are not saying. Sometimes, what they don’t say is as important as the things they are saying. Learn to uncover these things because they may have weight and validity that can ultimately help your company.
Be mindful of the manner of delivery.
The manner of delivery is as important as the message being delivered. There have been far too many instances of misunderstanding and miscommunications that happened because of the use of the wrong tone and poor word choice. While it is encouraged to speak your mind out, it takes maturity to learn how to filter what you are saying and resist the temptation of lashing out or sounding too condescending.
Give credit where credit is due.
Learn how to give compliments and positive feedback. Whether it’s about the success of a project or about an outstanding job done by your coworkers, an environment that encourages positive reinforcement is a thriving environment.
Give negative feedback with affirmation.
Correction can be made without having to resort to namecalling and shaming. Giving negative feedback should be objective and delivered in a way that can still end up as positive reinforcement. One effective way to give an affirming correction is the Sandwich Feedback Principle. Simply make sure that whatever compliment it is you are giving is sincere and not just flattery. People smell flattery from a mile away.
Having the right communication system in place can make a whole world of difference between a thriving workplace and a dysfunctional one. Worst-case scenario, poor workplace communication can end up in increased absenteeism, decrease in employee retention, and low customer satisfaction. Good communication increases a company’s chances of becoming more successful and ensures continuous growth.