Communication: The Glue That Holds Your Team Together
We often hear that communication is the biggest struggle in the work place. Whether it be horizontally throughout your team or other teams, or vertically through manager or the C-level, good communication is a must. There are several components to be considered while communicating a message, as well as several components to consider with the message itself. This is where it can get tricky, especially when you throw in aspects of interpersonal communication profiles and so on. But to keep it simple we will just address the message itself and the process of delivering it.
You can have the greatest delivery ever, but if your message isn’t clear you’re back to square one. Whether it be a written, verbal, or non-verbal communication there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
For written messages, make sure that it is professional, precise, clear and the language is simple and easy to understand/interpret. Make sure it is written without any typos and ensure proper grammar and punctuation. Doing this will ensure that your message is clearly understood and it will help you maintain your credibility. Writing is open to interpretation, the recipient is not subjected to your non-verbal queues, being as clear and straight forward as possible is a must.
Similar rules apply when delivering your message verbally. Make sure your message is clearly delivered by making use of proper verbiage, tone, and body language. You don’t want to have a relaxed tone if you are trying to explain a big upcoming project, this could easily distract your audience from your actual message, or lose their attention all together.
The most important thing with your delivery is knowing the individual or audience you are delivering your message to. You want to make sure you understand key things about them that could act as a barrier such as certain personality traits, gender, culture, language, etc. Knowing these facts can help you better tailor your message to that individual or audience.
Don’t be afraid of one-on-one communication. Often times we find it easier to just send an email or text message, set up a meeting with an entire team, or leave a voice mail. A one-on-one meeting is a great way to eliminate other distractions and have one persons full attention. It is also easier to get a read on whether or not they are picking up on what you are saying by looking at their body language, or by how they are responding to you. In a larger meeting or email thread, an individual may be too shy to speak up with an idea, or to say they do not understand what is being asked/conveyed.
Ask your audience questions and listen to their feedback. If you find that your employees complain about too much information being given at once, find a way to trim it down. If they find they are not given enough, fit more in. Also, try to engage them more during your communication to make sure that you are reaching them as intended, or to see what you can do better.
Establishing better communication can be a difficult task that will take some time to implement. There are also several more factors to consider which we will address in later blogs, so stay tuned!