Practice Good Inter-Office Communication and Watch Your Business Improve
Good communication is a must in any workplace environment. When messages become contaminated with incorrect facts or through careless delivery, the result could cost a business time and money, and in the worst of cases, even its reputation. Therefore, it is critical that each employee knows their respective roles and how they are supposed to deliver messages so that important details do not get lost in the shuffle.
Good workplace communication builds trust among your employees, resulting in increased work productivity and improved efficiency. Here are five tips for improving the communication in your workplace.
#1 – Good Communication Starts With Listening
An unwanted interruption during a conversation can quickly result in a missed point or a misunderstanding, so the most important thing you can do to automatically improve the communication in your office is to start listening more actively. Pay close attention to the speaker and repeat any important details back to him to help you absorb the information, and to let him know that you are listening.
Do not allow interruptions to break the flow of the conversation; this will show the employee that he is valued, and that you take his input seriously.
#2 – Enforce Communication With Responsibility
When in a conversation with an employee, take responsibility for what you are saying, and for ensuring that it is being grasped. At the same time, make sure that the employee is also clear on his own responsibility. Make sure he completely understands what is being asked of him, and if he is not, then clarify it for him without being aggressive.
This will help build trust, and ensure that the employee’s job gets done according to expectations.
#3 – Set Expectations
If you are starting a new project and you have multiple employees on board, then make sure each one knows what his or her responsibilities are within the project by going over expectations for their roles. Explain to each employee how his or her responsibility ties into the others on the team.
#4 – Pay Attention to Non-Verbal Cues
Occasionally, an employee may not disagree verbally with an idea but his facial expression may betray his true feelings. Pay close attention to the non-verbal cues of your employees during your conversations and meetings, and ask for honest input from your team in a way that they will not feel intimidated to offer their own ideas.
At the same time, always keep in mind your own non-verbal cues so the message you are conveying is in sync with your demeanor. Pay attention to how those around you are reacting to your body language so you can make subtle changes in your tone or direction to help them feel more comfortable.
#5 – Be Clear About What You Want
Besides listening, being clear in your message is the most important component in effective workplace communication. Avoid getting caught up in old problems or issues. Stay on target and focus only on what you need out of your employees.
Before finishing the conversation or meeting, ask your employees if they have any questions and encourage them to ask so there is no misunderstanding of what is expected of them. This will not only dramatically improve your workplace communication, but it will also help your improve standing as a leader.
Photo Credit: Paul Shanks, Flickr.