October 28, 2015
Communication plays a vital role within management. How do leaders know when they are communicating effectively? Without strong communication skills, work teams can potentially fall apart and struggle to communicate both internally and externally. Lack of effective communication can lead to a lack of understanding of what is required of employees and as a result, management will suffer and prevent productivity from their team. Communicating effectively can minimize conflicts within a work place and allows everyone involved to feel heard.
Are your communication skills up to par? Here are five tips to improve your communication:
1. Provide Structure
Develop a procedural structure for communication within your organization. Employees should know who to contact and when in certain situations (e.g. who to go to for approval of a completed project). Meetings should be announced in advance so all participants can be prepared with questions, concerns or feedback. Managers and employees should discuss weekly goals while assessing performance.
Solving problems together helps to cultivate team spirit. It creates bonds that allow colleagues to feel comfortable in using their unique talents and skills to reach common goals, rather than feeling unappreciated and uninspired. Effective leaders seek input and constructive criticism from team members so every team member feels involved.
3. Hone Your Conflict Management Skills
Can you identify potential problems before they start? Good leaders know that it’s practical to develop a well-organized conflict-management policy to address possible issues before they start. Ideally, conflict-management protocol should be clearly defined to employees so that they’re always prepared to wisely manage conflicts in a responsible, organized and professional manner.
4. Form Strong Written Communication
Strive for clear, concise and organized writing. Taking the extra time to proofread can make all the difference. Effective communicators fine-comb their correspondence in order to free it of any typos or inaccurate statements. Not only will your written communication come off more clearly the first time, but it will also aid in cultivating a more professional image.
5. Consider Cultural Differences
The way people communicate can vary from culture to culture. Team members from different cultures may perceive your actions and words differently than someone from your same culture. Leaders don’t want to offend their team members, and effective communicators are rarely misinterpreted. One can practice effective communication by striving to learn what is polite and acceptable throughout different cultures.
Effective communication is crucial for achieving goals, and this is true within any industry. Effective communication can help improve customer relationship management, improve project management and ensure productivity and compliance. Communication can either be a spark plug of innovation or an obstacle that throws your entire workforce off course. It’s up to you to decide which communication habits to pick up.