Great communication is the key to management, productivity, collaboration and generally getting things done. If you and your team aren’t communicating effectively, there could be serious consequences for your business.
Here are 3 common communication mistakes that will sink your business, and how you can avoid them…
1. Not talking to coworkers
It’s not every day you show up to work wanting to chat to your colleagues. Most of us have days where we just want to put our headphones on and get down to work.
While office small talk may not seem important, it’s a great opportunity to get a feel for what other people are working on, how they’re feeling and how a project is running in general.
Founder and CEO of WorkSimple, Morgan Norman, believes not talking to your colleagues could leave you completely in the dark…
“If you are not really talking to others at your company, you may be unaware of projects they’re working on, which could mean you’re missing on opportunities to collaborate. You may even be missing a vital piece of information for your next project.”
Having a break out area in your office is a great way to encourage team members to get together on their breaks and talk things over.
2. Not asking for clarification
If you and your team don’t understand the goals you’re working towards, or how to achieve them, you’re going to lose time and money, not to mention the hit team morale can take when people are confused and don’t feel like they’re progressing.
Leadership coach and author of The Power of Presence, Kristi Hedges, notices a lot of executives she works with spend a lot of time confused, rather than asking for clarification…
“Whether it’s a CEO who doesn’t know what the board wants to see at the board meeting, or a junior employee who doesn’t understand what the boss wants in a pending report, the rationale is the same: nobody wants to look incompetent in front of authority. So what happens? We waste time guessing, miss the mark too frequently, and create more work for everyone.”
Make sure your team know that managers are there to listen to them. Whether they have a problem, suggestion or just need to clarify what they’re doing, your team should always feel like they have someone to talk to.
3. Not keeping your team in the loop
As companies grow, there’s a tendency for managers and executives to keep details to themselves, thinking if it doesn’t affect the team, there’s no need for them to know about it.
Entrepreneur and executive coach, Stever Robbins, believes you need to keep your team in the loop in order for them to stay engaged….
“What you don’t say may be sending as loud a message as what you do say. If you don’t give praise, people get the message they’re unappreciated. If you don’t explain the rationale behind decisions, the message is that you don’t trust them. And if you don’t tell people where the company wants to go, they don’t know how to help it get there.”
Try having a weekly or monthly meeting where you discuss the progress of your company with your whole team, and give them a chance to have their say.
What are the most problematic communication mistakes you see at work? Share your experiences in the comments below.