A few years ago our business did a team survey asking for feedback on every area of our business. The biggest issue by far was Communication!
Many of the issues that were raised all led back to a problem with Communication, and in particular communication from the business owners to the rest of the team.
This came as a shock to us. We had always seen communication as one of our strengths. We even have an open office plan in order to improve communication within the workplace.
Through this process we learned some lessons on communication that could be relevant to others. below I have listed 7 keys of effective communication
- Listen. The 1st and perhaps most important part of effective communication is to listen. Listen well and ensure you understand what the other person is saying. Confirm you have understood by paraphrasing back what has been said.
- Don't Interrupt. This takes listening to the next level. If you are a natural interrupter, you need to learn to listen fully without interruption
- Be clear about what you are saying. Avoid unnecessary jargon and ensure the person or group you are communicating to has understood your meaning! If sending an email it is vital to be clear to avoid unnecessary multiple emails back and forth to get clarification. This is a time waster!
- Use available technology. Sometimes communication is best in person or over the phone. Sometimes an email is best suited, or a message on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or some other social media may even be the best method. Consider the message you are trying to send and your audience and communicate appropriately
- Always tell the Truth. At times you will need to let someone know you have made a mistake. Communicate this quickly and truthfully. This can not only make others feel better about you and enhance your reputation, but it will also make you feel better about yourself!
- Keep your cool. It is you and you alone who allows other people and things to affect you! If you become angry, jealous, negative or vengeful, you have have been defeated.
- Don't talk down. Communication is often more affective when we treat others as equals. If you are an employer, you are no better than your employee's you just have a different role to play.
Don't forgot that the little things can often be the big things in a relationship. In our business we found that the little things we weren't communication effectively were causing the most angst. effective communication can improve morale, productively and happiness in any environment.