Effective communication is crucial to a collaborative, productive, innovative, and efficient team, but it’s not something everyone can easily accomplish. If you find getting your team members to communicate with each other challenging, then you've come to the right blog.
Here are tips on how to improve communication in the workplace:
1. Offer a good example
“Leading by example” may have been a cliche for years now, but that’s exactly what you need to do. Be a model for how you want the members of your group to interact and communicate with each other. If you need a task done, speak up and provide clear instructions. Encourage your people to voice out their ideas and offer feedback when needed.
At the same time, demonstrate the importance of being open to instructions and feedback from other people. Remind everyone that in communication, listening is just as crucial as speaking.
Be a model for how you want the members of your group to interact and communicate with each other.
2. Greet people by name
Never underestimate the value of a greeting, especially if it includes the other person’s name. It may not seem like much, but it can cheer up other people and even make them like you more. Greetings can also make way for plenty of pleasant conversations.
Some people find the idea of starting conversations too embarrassing and keep quiet as a result. Integrating the act of greeting others into your workplace culture can help ease the awkwardness that your team members may feel toward you and their peers.
3. Get to know everyone
During your next standup meeting, break the ice by having everyone say something interesting about themselves. It could be a hobby, a favorite movie, an unforgettable memory, or a hidden talent — anything’s fine as long as it’s something anyone wouldn’t feel uncomfortable sharing.
Outside of work, invite the members of your group to engage in activities together. Go bowling, play board or card games, or sing karaoke. Or eat lunch together every once in a while. Thanks to these activities, your team members will become more familiar and comfortable with each other.
4. Treat them as they’d like to be treated
Doing unto others as you would have them do to you isn’t always the best tactic when your goal is encourage people to communicate with each other. To illustrate, if you’re the type of person who would rather work alone, then you likely won’t talk to any of your colleagues. If your goal is to have others and trust you enough to communicate with you, then the best strategy is to treat them the way they want to be treated.
For instance, if you find that your colleague likes communicating through instant messages more than they do by talking, then use your office chat app to ask how they’re doing. Bear in mind that respect for others and their preferences is crucial to proper communication.
5. Actually start a conversation
Another way to encourage others to communicate is to actually speak to them. You don’t have to start with a complex topic either — small talk will do just fine. Ask about their tasks for the day or offer assistance when needed.
6. Get the right tools
It’s so much easier to encourage your team to communicate when they have the right tools and channels at their disposal. Chat and video conference apps are must-haves these days, especially if you have colleagues who work remotely. A chat app makes it easy to exchange short messages, as well as certain files, in real time. Video conference apps, on the other hand, offers users who are miles away from each other the chance to interact as if they are in a face-to-face conversation.
7. Use conflict to your advantage
You may have heard it said that conflict must be defused at all times, but doing the opposite might ultimately be better for your group. In fact, conflicts can help jumpstart meaningful exchanges among the individuals involved.
When disagreements arise, encourage everyone to be honest about how they feel and think, and what frustrates them. When people are not truthful about what's on their hearts and minds, no true resolutions are reached, and resentments fester. Furthermore, encourage your staff to own their judgments, and also to open up and listen to other people's inputs and judgments. By encouraging honest and open interactions where multiple points of view are shared and new insights can be gathered, you can convert the energy in conflicts into a constructive force that leads to better communication and connections.
Building a high-functioning team with members that communicate effectively with each other takes plenty of time and effort. At In-Touch IT, we help you focus on your workforce, as well as other crucial elements of your business, by taking over the responsibility of managing your IT system.