Getting your team to communicate effectively is a task on its own. Everyone has a different way of communicating with other people, and some are shyer than others when it comes to speaking up or reaching out. A team that communicates effectively will be infinitely more productive and synchronized than one that doesn’t. Communication is the key to healthy, effective relationships.
Here, we’ll provide some valuable tips on getting your team members to communicate effectively. These tips will help transform your team into a well-oiled machine that keeps things open and honest.
Set The Example
The first tip is to set an example. That’s right, you as the manager, supervisor, or even a team member have to set the example by communicating effectively. How can your team learn to do better if its leader(s) aren’t setting the example and providing guidance on how to do so?
If you have trouble communicating effectively, this is a great time to get better. There’s always room to learn more about yourself and how you interact with others. Here are some tips on how you can communicate better to help set the example for your team:
- Use face to face communication as often as you can
- Don’t attack people or lash out. Temper your emotions.
- Learn to Too many of us listen to respond. Learn to listen to hear instead.
- Be honest! Communication means nothing if it’s laced with half-truths or you’re holding back what you’re really feeling or trying to say.
These simple tips can help improve your overall communication so you can show the team how it’s done. Perhaps the most important of these tips is learning to listen. We’ll discuss this next.
Learn To Listen
Listening is an art in itself. So many of us think we know how to listen, but the fact is, ego often gets in the way of effective listening. Listening involves setting aside our own goals and personal needs in order to truly hear and register what the speaker is saying. If you’re in an argument or a debate, you’re likely listening to respond; that is, you’re listening and arming yourself with your next comment simultaneously.
This way of listening means you’ll never truly hear what’s being said since your mind is busy preparing your next comment, comeback, or response. Setting aside your ego to be a better listener isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of self-discipline to master.
When you listen, you must listen to hear. Suspend the needs of your ego while someone else is talking, even when they say something you might not like or that you disagree with. Encourage your team members to take deep breaths while someone is talking, and further focus their attention on what the speaker is saying rather than what they’ll say once that person is finished.
Use The Right Tools
Having the right tools at your disposal can be an effective way to get your team to communicate more effectively. If you’re using outdated communication tools or tools that just don’t work for everyone, you’re setting the team up for failure. It’s time to ditch the endless email chains and move on to the 21st century.
Tools like conferencing services are effective at uniting a team and providing a digital meeting space so that everyone can participate, no matter where they are. The best conferencing service for your business is the one that everyone likes using. The interface is simple, intuitive, and the service is affordable.
You can also use tools such as team management or project management software. These tools create a digital gathering place where everyone can communicate via instant messaging, assign and update projects, and where managers can track progress.
Many companies prefer this kind of software over the endless email chains of the past. Email chains can get confusing, and let’s be honest, no one wants to open their email to find three dozen new messages from an email chain they really don’t need to be a part of.
One of the most important components of effective communication is honesty. Honesty is crucial because it provides transparency and eliminates the need to go back and find the facts. Encouraging your team to be honest with one another and with you or the management team can make for a more healthy workplace and increased communication.
An honest team gets things done on time, and when they don’t, everyone knows why, when the new deadline is, and how the delay can be avoided in the future. Let your team know that honesty is one of the most important values the company stands by. Let them know that being honest is always preferable to dishonesty in your company’s culture.