5 Ways On How To Improve Communication In The Workplace
There are a thousand factors that go into making a business thrive, but one of the most important is also one of the most ignored: effective communication.
Ideally, everyone on a team should feel that they are both heard and understood.
If you can achieve that, you should see a much more positive work culture emerge, as well as all the benefits that brings.
Here are a few methods you can use to try to achieve better communication in your workplace.
1) Your time is important (and expensive)
Nonetheless, you need to spend some of it listening!
It is a leader’s prerogative to monopolise the conversation, whether in a group meeting or a one-on-one.
Nonetheless, even dedicated staff members will lose focus if you do.
Be sure to convey your points succinctly – cut the fluff and filler – and pause for questions after your main points.
Everyone present needs to feel like they are actively a part of a conversation, not attending a lecture.
2) When you do listen, focus only on the person who is speaking
This means no multitasking!
When someone is speaking, whether to you individually or addressing a room full of people, focus closely on what they are saying.
Reading your notes or fiddling with your phone shows that you don’t value what is being said.
In addition to lowering morale for the speaker, it can cause others to tune out as well.
This is one of those times when you have to lead by example.
3) Remember your communication includes more than just your words
Your tone of voice and body language communicate volumes, and even if your verbal message is clouded, they come through clear as a bell.
Practice appearing calm and open when speaking, even when there is an emotional content.
On a practical level, avoid crossing your arms.
Smile as appropriate.
Nod to show that you are following their points.
Maintain eye contact.
What may seem like irrelevancies can have a huge impact on how you are perceived.
4) Have an official note-taker at meetings
No one can remember everything that was said at even a short meeting with any accuracy.
Taking your own notes causes you to lose focus on what is actually being said.
Having an official note or minute-taker who sent copies around after meetings was once standard practice, and one that should be resumed.
If a meeting is not important enough to take notes, is it really necessary to have at all?
5) Don’t just inform; seek to inspire
Communicating your ideas is only half of your job as a leader.
You must also inspire your team.
Make them understand the importance of what you are asking them to do, and how their individual successes can affect the whole.