Communication Tips for a Happier, More Productive Team

People are at the core of any business and great communication is key to keeping people happy and on track.

Here’s 5 communication hacks that will make your team happier and help them to get more done…

1. Allow your audience to arrive at the truth

Presentations and debate coach, Isaiah McPeak, believes that respecting your listeners means allowing them to arrive at their own conclusions…

“Communication goes awry when overly focused on claims (the “point”), but respects the audience when providing the support and allowing the audience to arrive at a conclusion naturally, ahead of the speaker.”

If you give your listeners the facts to back up a claim, instead of simply making the claim, McPeak argues that your audience will naturally arrive at the truth, which may, or may not, support the claim you wanted to make.

Either way, allowing your audience to arrive at the truth on their own terms will show that you respect them, and may provide a perspective you hadn’t previously considered.

2. Match the message

With so many methods of communication available, we need to consider whether our means of communication are appropriate for our message says Dr. Marla Gottschalk, an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist specializing in workplace success strategies and organizational change…

“Take the time to match the message with the communication vehicle. Will an e-mail suffice? Will your chosen method actually deliver your message effectively? The options should be weighed with the message in mind.”

If there’s a chance your message might be misconstrued in writing, consider scheduling a phone call, or face to face meeting. If you have a quick question, consider asking in your office chat system or stopping by someone’s desk instead of bombarding their already overflowing inbox.

3. Don’t assume your audience is ready

Leadership adviser, Mike Myatt, warns against diving into an important conversation without providing the necessary background…

“Don’t assume someone is ready to have a particular conversation with you just because you’re ready to have the conversation with them. Spending time paving the way for a productive conversation is far better than coming off as the proverbial bull in a china shop.”

Before diving into important conversations, make sure your audience knows the necessary background details to make that conversation productive. If they don’t know the facts beforehand, the conversation will end up taking a lot longer than you expected, or worse, will result in poor decisions.

4. Give people the benefit of the doubt

Not everyone is the same as you.

Paul Berry, Founder and CEO of RebelMouse, believes you need be forgiving and give people the benefit of the doubt when they say something you don’t agree with or can’t understand…

“We all were raised with different ways of approaching projects, handling conflict resolution etc. It’s essential we forgive each other constantly for odd grammar, odd behavior and instead try to make the beauty of building something together lift us above any confusion.”

Try to focus on the bigger goals without getting frustrated by certain individuals’ means of communication. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification when you don’t understand others, just be patient and appreciate that not everyone thinks in the same way you do.

5. Remove barriers in communication

Think about how your policies and processes might be blocking your team’s communicative efforts says Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner…

“Effective communication can only become easier when team members get to know each other better. Thanks to technological advances, there are a multitude of online tools available to make it easier for remote team members to be “present.” It’s like your virtual water cooler. Encourage team members to discuss ideas amongst themselves and collaborate through instant messaging.”

Instead of scalding your team for having a chat while they’re waiting for the kettle to boil, allow them to feel comfortable by encouraging conversation as much as possible. Research shows that people with friends at work are happier and more engaged than those without, so instead of banning chit chat, do what you can to remove barriers in communication.

What are your favourite communication tips? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo by Peter Lloyd on Unsplash