Communication is an important aspect of everyone’s lives. Relationships – yes, raising children – yes (I have 5, so I’m tested all the time!) and finally work, definitely. None of our associations are immune to communication, personal or professional, and so how we articulate our ideas and thoughts is arguably the most important factor in whether communication is deemed to be good or indeed, bad.
Have you considered the following?
- Know your outcome
The most important part of any communication is the outcome. How many times do you sit in a meeting that you feel could have been finished in half the time? I’m sure most of you who are reading this blog will have experienced this at some point in your working life. I know I have!
Whether you are a senior leader delivering an important message, or someone who is required to give an answer for something, always think about what you are trying to achieve and how it will be perceived by others. The longer you take to say what you want, the more it will be lost in translation.
2. Are you living and breathing the values of honesty and transparency?
This is so important if you want to build trust within an organisation. If you cannot show your employees your honesty, you will struggle to prove you have any integrity. In this day and age where the younger generation are more likely than ever to search for better opportunities, make sure the reason for them leaving is not as a result of a lack of honesty within your company.
3. What mode of communication are you using
Understandably, it is a bit of a minefield when communicating with people. Face to face, phone calls, text, WhatsApp, email, social media, there are so many possibilities. The important thing to say is that one size does not fit all, and it is key that you choose your methodology for your audience, not your own preferences. But, whilst I understand that Generation Z are happier to send a text or WhatsApp, I still believe that talking to people in person will help with the clarity of messages. After all, in the words of professor Albert Mehrabian, words, tone of voice, and body language respectively account for 7%, 38%, 55% of personal communication. We therefore see the bigger picture when standing in front of someone.
It is easy to talk about constructive feedback but how easy it is to give it. Constant negatives will put anyone off trying to work hard for you.
- Focus on what people do well and not what they can’t.
- When you do have something negative to talk about, highlight the behaviour and not the person.
- Finally, listen.
5. Get to know your team
How well do you know your team members? Understanding what makes people tick, what their purpose is and what they want to achieve will go a long way in developing a strong bond and therefore a strong team.
A 2016 study from Peldon Rose found that:
91% of employees value friendships within work
85% of employees count colleagues as friends
80% say friendships with colleagues help them to be more productive at work.
The third point is the most telling and it is perhaps why a company such as Google values employee interaction.
For any more information on why I believe the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. It would be great to hear your thoughts.