Communication is vital in keeping a workplace running smoothly. Not only that, but it’s also a building block in creating workplace culture and trust, among other things. A daily task that needs work every single day is to communicate better to your team. It may seem like an insignificant part of your work life. But, effective communication is an ingredient to success. And here are five actionable ways to become a better communicator to your team.
Express One Stream of Thought
Technology has become accessible and it has enabled us to work from home or remotely. Without going to an office, you can communicate to your team through chat and call apps like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout, and the like. However, you have to remember that you’re communicating with your team members at work.
You have to relay your thoughts in one single message instead of a string of messages that would need more threads.
You don’t want to send messages like this to your team:
I wanted to ask something
Are you done with this new task?
I have something new for you to do
You can check the spreadsheet for that
You can shorten these message into one message:
Hey there, I wanted to ask something. Are you done with this new task? I have something new for you to do. You can check the spreadsheet for that.
It’s much clearer to send a readable block of text like the example above. But, in instances where you might have to discuss another topic, you can send a new block of text. That’s when you can further explain instructions or other requirements needed.
Present and Instill Confidence
Confidence matters when you communicate with your team members.
If you’re the team leader, your team members may expect you to appear confident since they trust your leadership.
But not all leaders or members may exude confidence, and that’s okay. Remember the saying, “fake it ‘till you make it?” That’s how you can try to look, feel, and sound confident when you give instructions to do something.
On the other hand, you want to instill confidence in your team as well. Since you want to cultivate a positive working environment, giving them a boost of confidence can motivate them to do their work correctly. Plus, it can help them become productive as well. Not to mention, you can even build trust by doing this.
Here are some tips to appear confident to your team:
- Observe your body language
- Have a clear voice and tone
- Listen carefully
- Stay respectful, authentic, and sincere
- Be thankful always
Provide Clear Directives
Whenever you have to assign new tasks or work to your teammates, you need to ensure clarity. You should explain concepts clearly to avoid misunderstanding. If you can, try to schedule a video call via a Zoom meeting or Google Meet with your team. Sometimes, messages don’t translate well through text.
A video call will allow you to be vocal about what you want your team to do. You can even share your screen to show specific processes that your team members need to follow.
Before you even start your video call, you can prepare how you will deliver the instructions. Maybe you can list them down on a notepad or document where every instruction is listed.
If, in any case, a video isn’t possible, what you can do is visualize how you will give the instructions. Instead of a text-based email or document, you can take screenshots. You can put text or arrows on the screenshots to show which buttons to click or what to type, etc.
Set Realistic Deadlines
Deadlines are essential in completing our projects and overall objectives. But if you want to communicate better to your team, you shouldn’t set deadlines for the sake of it. You must identify how long it can take a task to complete. It goes for tasks that may take a while to finish and for those that require little to no effort.
You need to remember to set realistic and strategic deadlines that will be helpful to your overall goals. Here are different ways to set realistic deadlines as part of your plan to communicate better to your team:
1. Classify Deadlines Using the Urgent or Important Principle
The urgent or important principle can allow you to prioritize which tasks are important to finish. Whenever you’re communicating to your team, assess which assignment should be prioritized.
2. Break Down Tasks into Smaller Chunks
Let’s say you have a big project, and you have two months to finish it. Instead of setting the deadline in two months, know how to cut down tasks into smaller pieces. From there, you can evaluate how long a particular job takes for one or two people to accomplish.
Other than that, you can also gauge the weight of one task. From there, you can delegate it to your team and talk it over how to accomplish your task.
Applying this will reduce the overwhelming feeling of finishing a big task in one go.
3. Talk it Over with the Team
Rather than setting the deadline yourself, let the team have their input on the matter. After all, they might do most of the work. It’s best that they also take part in the process of setting a realistic deadline.
Transparency is important in communication, especially at work. Since you’re part of a team and need to collaborate, transparency can help clear things up or provide solutions to problems.
But, you don’t have to get updates every single time, though. Inform your teammates to message you anytime they encounter a roadblock or need help.
One way to communicate better to your team is to provide feedback. If you think they need more guidance in refining their work, feedback can help them improve. From there, you can see how they’ll do a better job in accomplishing their task.
Another thing to consider is to inform your team of any significant changes that will affect the project or any work process.
For you to better understand how transparency can work well in your favor, know how it can benefit you in the long run:
- Builds trust
- Encourages autonomy
- Enhances employee motivation and happiness
- Increases idea-sharing and innovation
- Improves overall workplace performance
If you want to communicate better to your team, you have to be confident, straightforward, realistic, and transparent. It’s a daily task that needs work every day. With the above-mentioned strategies, you can become a better and more effective communicator. Plus, it will positively affect your company even in the littlest ways.