Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.
~Paul J. Meyer
Every new technology upgrade arrives with the promise of improving productivity, yet workplaces are becoming so dependent on technology these days that sometimes communication within the team is affected. In the drive to do more with less, we might overlook the importance of good communication, which can have drastic long-term effects on employees’ productivity.
In order for a business to run smoothly, managers rely on good communication with their teams and with each other to get things done. Successful companies utilize effective communication techniques to make sure that there is good communication in the workplace.
Good communication can resolve misunderstandings
With good communication, misunderstandings can be resolved quickly. Learning to communicate assertively can help get a message across without hurting people’s feelings. With assertive communication, people can provide constructive feedback to help encourage better performance.
Good communication solves problems before they even arise. This in turn results in a stronger, better team, with better capability of performing at their best. Learn more about how being assertive can also benefit your team by reading 7 Tips for Achieving Workplace Success by Being More Assertive.
If you feel that your organization can benefit from improved communication techniques, start today with these five key steps:
1. Learn to be a great listener
Listening is one of the most underrated yet most important skills that managers need to learn. Without listening, there is no communication; it’s simply a monologue. It is important for employees to know that their opinions and ideas are being heard by management, and that they are being taken seriously. When employees feel they are not being heard, it leads to low employee morale and reduced efficiency for the team. Take the time to discuss various matters with each team member occasionally, and show them that you are listening to their opinions by taking concrete, responsive steps when they provide you with useful input.
2. Know when it is appropriate to write emails
When disseminating factual information, write emails and make sure to rely on data only. On the other hand, be disciplined about emails. Stick to one topic per mail and avoid overly long messages. Any information that could be misinterpreted or is vague should be discussed personally within the team to avoid confusion.
3. Make effective use of all communication channels
Know when to use various mediums of communication to get your point across. If you need to provide your employee with constructive feedback, it is best to do it face-to-face, so both parties can engage in the dialogue and exchange ideas. If feedback is done via email, there is often room for misunderstandings. Without the metacommunication present in a personal exchange, the content of emails can easily be misconstrued. Avoid discussing personal matters on email or on chat devices.
4. Learn to trust your team
We’ve all encountered that one micromanager who made the workplace more difficult than it needed to be. Micromanaging your team communicates that you don’t trust their decisions, and if this happens you’ll find people resigning right and left. Remember that you hired people for a reason, for their skill and knowledge, and it is up to you to provide them with an opportunity to shine. Employees need to know that they have control over their jobs. When they have more autonomy, this will result in a more innovative attitude.
5. Be clear and direct when delegating tasks
Research shows that people are more efficient in the workplace when they clearly understand what is expected of them. Identify the goals and measurable outputs that you expect from your team, so you can avoid blurred lines when it comes to responsibilities in the workplace. Communicating tasks clearly will also help build accountability. Remember in doing so that it helps to use clear and simple terms, so everything is fully understood.
Effective communication is crucial to a healthy, happy work environment. People communicate in different ways, so communication methods may take some time fine-tuning in your workplace. However, this may be one of the best investments you can make, as it’s time spent to ensure everyone is on the same page at all times.
Last but not the least, never use communication as a weapon; teach this to your team as well. It can be a very powerful tool, but should be used for the greater good.
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