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How to Improve Communication on Your Team

How to Improve Communication on Your Team
How to Improve Communication on Your Team

How to Improve Communication on Your Team

Strong communication is the bedrock of any successful team. It fosters collaboration, boosts morale, and keeps everyone on the same page.

But with the nature of modern work vacillating from in-person interactions to remote work and everything in between, effective communication can often escape us.

However, if you’re looking to give the quality of your team’s communication a boost, there are actionable steps you can take to ensure that it thrives.

Establish Communication Guidelines for Different Purposes

Imagine this: you need a quick answer from a colleague, but you're unsure if a text message, email, or a video call is the best way to reach them.

No one has told you what communication channels to use or the ideal scenarios to use them. This lack of clarity can lead to delays, frustration, and, overall, scattershot communication across your entire team.

Setting communication guidelines for different situations helps your team choose the most efficient and appropriate channel. This could be:

  • Emails for long-formate updates
  • Project management tools for task delegation
  • Instant messaging apps for quick question

Sure, all of this might seem a bit obvious...which is exactly why setting these simple guidelines for your people often goes ignored!

So, even if you think everyone on your team should already be aware, take the time to establish what channels your colleagues should use and when. By establishing these guidelines, you eliminate confusion and ensure everyone is on the same page about how to communicate effectively in different situations.

Overcoming Common Workplace Miscommunication

Gather Communication Preferences from Your Team

We all have preferred communication styles. Some people thrive on face-to-face interactions, while others prefer the clarity of written communication.

Taking the time to understand your team's preferences shows you value their individuality and creates a more inclusive environment.

Here's how you can gather communication preferences:

  • Team surveys: An anonymous survey can provide valuable insights into how your team likes to receive information and share updates.
  • One-on-one meetings: During these meetings, ask team members about their preferred communication channels and how you can best reach them.
  • User guides: Have each of your people answer a few key questions about their work style and communication preferences in a word document. Then, save it in a shared folder for the entire team to access.

By understanding these preferences, you can tailor your communication approach to each team member, ensuring everyone feels heard and valued.

Embrace Psychological Safety

Now, we’ve established a few ways to render the function of communication easier and more concrete across your teams.

But how do your people feel about communicating in your organization? This is where psychological safety comes into play.

Psychological safety is the feeling of being safe to take risks, share ideas, and admit mistakes without fear of judgment or punishment. It's a crucial element for fostering open and honest communication within a team.

Here are some ways to promote a psychologically safe environment:

  • Lead by example: As a leader, model open communication by actively listening to your team and admitting your own mistakes.
  • Focus on learning: When mistakes happen, frame them as opportunities for growth instead of blame games.
  • Celebrate diverse perspectives: Encourage healthy debate and acknowledge the value of different viewpoints.

By fostering psychological safety, you create an environment where your team feels comfortable sharing their ideas and concerns freely, leading to more creative solutions and stronger team dynamics.

Building a strong communication culture takes time and effort, but the rewards are substantial. By implementing these strategies, you can create a team that thrives on open communication, collaboration, and success.

Now Available! ENGAGE 2024: The Company Culture Report

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Brent Tripp
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Overcoming Common Workplace Miscommunication
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