In business, much like life, a winning team requires effective communication. Not just within departments, but as an organization. In order to understand the process, the business, the clients, the environment and the expectations and desired outcomes, team members must work on ways to be open and concise. Although this is often easier said than done, there are a few ways business leaders can implement and practice better communication within their own organization.
1. GET TO THE POINT
One of the best ways to practice this is by starting with the main point first, then work on the details. Having a legal background may have some influence here, but as any great lawyer knows the shorter and more concise the point the better. So starting with it always helps. Why? Because it means that the person conveying the message not only understands the ideas or topics that they are trying to discuss, but they have taken the time to learn what really matters and won’t waste your time sharing it. This skill is great not just for speaking with colleagues, but for delivering presentations and demonstrating confidence. When you spend too long getting to the point, minds begin to wander in thought and eventually miss it, so start with the main details and elaborate as needed.
2. OFFER MEANINGFUL FEEDBACK
Another positive form of communication within an organization is feedback. Just like the example above, meaningful feedback is great if it is concise and illustrates the areas of improvement made on particular projects, etc. It is also effective for helping another team member understand if there are specific areas needing attention in their work. Offer examples of how these changes can be implemented into their future work and provide support when needed. It is important to listen and be conscientious of their response and to be available when other team members need advice.
3. UNDERSTAND YOUR ROLE AND COMMUNICATE OFTEN
One of the easiest ways to work on this one is to make sure that you understand what is needed of you or your department - to do this you must ask questions and stay in contact with the people you report to and are required to work with. It doesn’t hurt to make friends with the other departments as well, because the more you understand the bigger picture the more valuable you are to the company and more successful the business will be overall. Communicate often and listen.
4. BUILD A CULTURE BASED ON COMMUNICATION
Lastly, you should use communication to reinforce the key strategic and cultural messages of your business - in fact communication should be imbedded into your cultural DNA. This concept should be practiced in every department - especially sales and marketing. Everyone in the organization from top to bottom deserves to know the company’s strategy, not only understanding it, but practicing it. If team members can work collaboratively with other departments, have a clear understanding of what is expected of them, and establish direction, they can help align strategies and increase overall performance.Again, these may take time to fully implement, but that is why it must start from the top down - created in culture, practiced in life. In the end, businesses who understand the value of creating effective communication will not only be the most successful, but will create an environment that attracts employees and clients alike.
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