One of the most frustrating things in life is miscommunication in the workplace. The leading cause of a company’s failure is a lack of effective communication. Internal and external communication is integral to any successful business, but it can be challenging. George Bernard Shaw once stated, “the single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
Poor communication can impact team dynamics, company strategies, and much more, causing productivity to spiral downward. Simply having a conversation with a team member should not imply they interpreted the information as intended. Leadership must consider different perspectives, backgrounds, and ways of thinking.
For an employee to regard a task with the utmost care, they must understand why it is important to achieve the goal. Simply “because their superior asked” is not enough motivation. The employee needs to care about the task and the result to exceed expectations and meet the deadline. Taking this extra step will contribute to the employee’s growth and get them invested in the company’s future.
When assigning a task, both parties need to agree on a clear deadline and vision for the end result. This step will avoid duplicated work, frustration, and friction in the workplace. Set aside some dedicated time to discuss the project in length to ensure details are not missed.
Choose the right form of communication. It is recommended to have a verbal conversation and then follow up with an email or written documentation. A call or in-person meeting will allow both parties the opportunity for clear communication and to ask questions. Following up with a text agreement afterward allows both parties to see they are on the same page and provides a document to revert back to.
A proper connection requires authenticity, vulnerability, and trust. Create an environment where these items are not only encouraged, but they are practiced. A superior should lead by effective action, practice connection first, and inspire others to do the same. At this time, you must also be present; set your phone to silent and off to the side. Let the person you are speaking to know you respect them and their time by giving them your undivided attention. Make eye contact, stand at a respectable distance, face them, and really show them they have your attention.
Allow sufficient time to communicate properly and for the team member to complete the task around their regular responsibilities without causing stress and anxiety.
There is no such thing as over-communication — provide as much detail as possible. Never assume someone has information you did not personally deliver. Provide the opportunity for questions or concerns. Confirm the instructions make sense with the employee, and that they understand what is expected. If you feel as if your message was not clear, repeat the same information, but in a different way.
Ask the recipient to repeat the information back; stay focused so you can listen to what they are saying and watch their body language. During this time, it is essential to not only check for understanding, but to listen to any thoughts and ideas the team member might have on how to improve the task or project. As a leader, you should be talking 20% of the time and actively listening the remaining 80%. Let them know you are there if they need any clarification or assistance.
A leader should recognize that each person is an individual and not everyone can be managed the same way. Consider different perspectives, backgrounds, and ways of learning. Taking the time to get to know the individuals on your team will show you respect them. Having tools and processes in place to use daily will help ensure success across the board.
Most companies have multiple tools to allow for communication and task completion. Having too many software applications can be expensive and allow for miscommunication. GreenSpacePro is a one-stop shop for any successful business to keep up with compliance, assign tasks, monitor deadlines, and allow for seamless communication. This cloud-based platform will alleviate fragmentation for companies that use multiple business operation software solutions. Ditch your other tools and work in a space where everything is documented.
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