It is imperative in a leadership role that you communicate effectively. An age old aphorism goes “it’s not what you say, but how you say it”. Communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Having effective communication skills is the key to good leadership.
When you communicate well with your team, it helps eliminate misunderstandings and can encourage a healthy and peaceful workplace. Efficient communication with your team will also let you get work done quickly and professionally.
The moment you get the lines of communication open with your team, the process of carrying out tasks and projects will most likely go by smoothly. Plus you will be surprised how meeting targets will become a whole lot easier.
These 20 time-tested ways to communicate better with your team will sure do you good.
1. Open Meeting
It is easier to communicate your passion and how you feel to your team via open meetings. In this kind of forum, they will not only hear what you are saying, they will also see and feel it. This approach still remains one of the best approaches of communicating effectively with a team.
In official settings, communication via email remains potent. It will enable you pass across messages to members of your team without pulling them out of their work stations.
3. One on One
Experts have been able to prove that some people understand better when you take them aside and talk to them on a one-on-one basis. Ensure that you maintain eye contact with them to enable the message sink. The message might be the same but sometimes try out this approach and measure its effectiveness.
4. Use Presentations
Some people grasp message easily when pictures and sounds are involved. Using presentations like Microsoft Power Point in communicating to your team will always give them the opportunity to refer back to it if they aren’t clear about certain things.
5. Communication via Training
Your trainings should be tailored towards communicating certain information to your team members. Most employees take training serious, especially when it’s part of their appraisal.
6. Display Confidence and Seriousness
Ensure that you display confidence and seriousness so that you will not be taken for granted. When your team members notice any iota of uncertainty and un-seriousness in you when communicating with them, they are likely to treat the information with disdain.
7. Use Simple Words
The truth is that everybody cannot be on same page when it comes to vocabulary. Therefore, to be effective in your communication with your team members, use words that can be easily understood. When ambiguous words are used, sometimes you could be misinterpreted.
8. Use Visuals
Place visuals at strategic positionsaround the work station of your team members. They should not just hear the message alone, let them see the message. This gives room for better comprehension.
9. Listen to Your Team Members
Communication is supposed to be a two way street; don’t just talk because you are the leader without listening to them. Encourage them to open up so you can be well guided when communicating with them. On a lighter note, you have two ears and one mouth –so you must listen more than you speak.
10. Use Body Language
Your body language will pass across your message faster and better. Master the art of using body language when communicating with your team mates. Use smiles, handshakes and eye contact when communicating with your team mates.
11. Act Your Message
Someone once said, “Tell me what you want me to do and I might forget it, but do it in front of me and I will never forget it”. Acting your message is a very potent way of communicating with your team. Let them see you do what you want them to do, and watch their excuses disappear into thin air.
12. Use The Appropriate Voice Tone.
One word can mean a different thing, when said in a different voice tone. Use the appropriate voice tone to communicate your message to your team members so that you won’t be misrepresented.
13. Avoid Unnecessary Repetition
If you want your team members to take you serious, never sound like a broken record. Don’t over flog any message; tell your team members what you want them to know or do. Also ask them if they are clear about it; if they aren’t you can repeat what you have earlier said.
14. Create Receptive Atmosphere
To effectively communicate with your team, you must create a receptive atmosphere. Avoid a tense environment, because when you communicate in such an atmosphere, the message you are trying to pass across might not be well understood and retained.
15. Be Humorous
For sure we are not expected to be serious all through. Using friendly jokes when communicating with your team members will help pass across your message in a more relaxed atmosphere. It has been proven to be one of the effective ways of dousing tension. When the atmosphere is unfriendly, being humorous surely does the trick. If you must use jokes, please don’t overdo it; remember you are not a Stand-up Comedian.
16. Be Articulate
Communication is indeed a skill that must be learned by all and sundry, especially if you want to lead any group of people. Being articulate when you communicate to your team members makes it easier for them to understand your message.
17. Avoid Mumbling Words
Your team members should be able to hear you clearly. When communicating with them, try as much as possible not to mumble words. When you mumble words, you may assume that they are clear on the subject, but the truth is that they might not be. It also shows a lack of confidence on your part.
18. Encourage Feedback
Don’t just talk and walk away but give room for feedback so that you can measure the effectiveness of your style of communication. It will also afford you the privilege of knowing if your message was well understood.
Use your hands to demonstrate your message. Make signs, motions and signals to establish the seriousness of your subject matter when communicating with your team members. This shows that you understand what you are trying to relay to them. Just don’t let your body movement get too much.
20. Be Appreciative
After every communication session, via whatever means you have decided, always remember to thank your listeners i.e. your team members for their time. It will cost you nothing and you’ll have everything to gain. It’s just simple courtesy.
To wrap it all up, remember that the point of working as a team is to share ideas and boost productivity. When communication is hampered among the members, it can sidetrack the entire effort.
You must work hard at keeping these communication tactics. You can also create ground rules to keep everyone up to date, which helps avoid confusion and complete the project with ease.