Communication is readily agreed to be one of the most valued skills in a leadership position. Communication is not only about what we say, but how we say it. The best employers know that how we communicate can and will have a significant impact on the motivation and productivity of our staff. Here are some valuable tips and examples of true communication in action.
Signs of Effective Communication
A sure sign of effective communication is an engaged and productive team. In the rush of juggling multiple high-stress projects and looming deadlines, inefficient or rushed communication can often result in costly misunderstandings and even disrupt the peace of a positive work environment. Effective communication is the result of conscious effort, a commitment to word choice, and taking the time to make sure your message came across the way you meant it to.
Opportunities for Communication in the Workplace
As a manager, you are constantly communicating, whether you are doing it conscientiously or not. Becoming more mindful of how you are communicating and the resulting impact on your employees and your work product will go a long way to improving your communication skills. Various messages require different communication tactics for the message to really sink in. For example, rallying the troops is often better communicated in a group setting rather than one on one.
Different Forms of Communication
Throughout the workday, you have multiple opportunities to communicate effectively, each scenario has a unique impact on how a message is transmitted. For example, communicating in a meeting is very different from how you would communicate via email. Knowing that an open meeting provides you with the opportunity to express your passion and interact with a wide audience quickly will save you time when you need to communicate an important message to a group.
The open forum scenario also provides your staff with the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback, two elements that are critical to communicating effectively in the future. In comparison, one-on-one communication is important for certain staff who have shown that they require more personal attention. In this case, eye contact and taking the time to confirm that what you said has sunk in will help you communicate better.
Beware of Haphazard Email Communication
Email is a wonderful, but sometimes trouble-causing communication method. Ready access to personal electronics and computers has made email a quick and easy way to reach out to and communicate with staff. But be careful how you use email to communicate. It should not be your only, or even most common form of communication.
Much of the intricacies of true intrapersonal communication are lost when speaking over email. Tone of voice, personality, sarcasm, and sympathy simply do not translate well to words on a screen. To avoid any pitfalls, keep work emails exceptionally professional, as well as short and to the point. If what you need to say requires more present communication but you are strapped for time, a phone call is a quick way to get your message across without sacrificing tone.