Effective communication is key for success

Workplaces are more complex now than ever before; with remote working, new technology and rapidly changing workplaces, it’s more important than ever to communicate effectively, respectfully and clearly. 

Positive communication is the responsibility of leaders to ensure a workplace is built on a foundation of trust, respect and collaboration. After all, we are bound together by our relationships and communication. The strength of our relationships is based on how we relate and communicate with one another. We’re communicating constantly, not just through our conversations, emails, messenger; but also through our actions or inactions. 

Effective communication leads to high performing teams. 

While positivity is one thing, perhaps the emphasis should be on creating a work culture where effective communication is the focus. Studies show that over 50% of employees report that more often than not, they feel like they do not receive clear communications and directions from their managers and most people in management positions report that they are not comfortable communicating with employees in general. If this is the case, then we need to work on making sure our communication is well received; in order for it to be effective, it needs to be received accurately. 

Businesses need to prioritise hiring people with the following skills, and in fact upskilling existing leaders in these skills; 

  • Verbal communication
  • Listening 
  • Written communication 
  • Public speaking 
  • Ability to adapt to change

Here are some tips on how to improve the communication in your workplace; 

Encourage two-way communication – #staycurios is a common company value these days. Rather than it simply being a hashtag at the end of your emails, actively encourage curiosity and two way communication. Encourage your employees to ask questions or voice their opinions, helping them feel empowered.

  • Increase encouragement and positive reinforcement – It is a good idea to tell people about their good things on a daily basis.
  • Provide detailed feedback – Make feedback specific. Give directions to the individuals on what exactly they are doing well and what needs to be improved.
  • Schedule one-on-ones – These are important so you can touch base every week or even every day. Allow time for the employee to talk, ask questions, raise issues and encourage them to do so. This is their time to talk and your time to listen and provide answers. 
  • Organise engaging team building activities – engaged staff are high performers. According to a recent report by Gallup, companies with engaged workers generally earn 2.5 times greater revenue. Team building activities are important to build strong team relationships and enhance productivity and engagement.
  • Improve your communication processes – are there areas that communication processes can be improved upon? This can be anything from reduced meetings, more efficient meetings, better email processes and setting clearer expectations around email communication practices. A good leader should always be looking for ways to improve communication practices within the team and this can entail seeking feedback and suggestions on how to improve things. 
  • Encourage collaboration in the way you facilitate meetings – encouraging language that invites open and collaborative conversation is vital to get everyone on the same page. 

A wonderful example of a phrase that I would highly encourage you to adapt and use as often as possible is “How might we..”. It’s a phrase that never fails me and always opens the door to exploring opinions and ideas that will lead to agreeable outcomes. 

The ‘how’ implies that something will happen, with the method yet to be discovered by the collective team. The ‘might’ implies that something could happen and it actively invites new ideas. Such a powerful little word not only does it invite all ideas, it also removes any feeling of shame if the idea is not ultimately used. The word ‘we’ reinforces a collaborative effort and the likelihood that an eventual decision will be supported by the whole team. All in all, it’s a great phrase to use in any situation where you are trying to achieve a collaborative approach to a meeting; to turn a potentially negative or challenging discussion into one whereby everyone wants to seek a positive solution.

Practice active listening and encourage your team to do the same – Have you ever given someone some clear instructions to do a task only to find out that they interpreted it differently. Sometimes no matter how simple and clear we think we are, as the words leave your mouth, they flow into the ears of the recipient and are interpreted by another person’s mind and brain. They may see the world through a different lens, shaped by their unique experience and preferences. So, while we may communicate clearly and simply presented information, others might see and hear something close to what is being communicated but some of the detail may get lost in translation, leading to tension and misunderstandings. How can we address this? Through active listening, Clarify, in your own words, your understanding or what is being said. And encourage your team to do the same with you and with each other. 

Could your leadership team benefit from one of my tailored workshops?

Please get in touch today. I’d love to help!

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