Teams within a business collaborate together on projects and tasks, with the aim of using different strengths within individual components. But if a team doesn’t communicate well it is like an engine that has been broken down into its separate parts. All the individual parts just won’t work how they are supposed to.
That is applicable to any team. Each member will be working on their individual projects, which when combined create the completed picture. By implementing an ongoing communication strategy throughout, the whole project will gel together seamlessly at the end.
When communication is increased and developed, team members build trust in each other, strong bonds and a sense of loyalty to each other. All of this provides a safe, secure and pleasant working environment for your team, helping to increase efficient working practices.
When employees are engaged, they speak more positively about the organisation, they stay longer, thus increasing retention rates and they are more motivated within their job role.
Methods of Communication
- Open Meeting and One on One
It is easier to communicate your passion and the way you feel to your team via open meetings. This approach still remains one of the best ones to communicate effectively with a team.
But some people understand better when you take them aside and talk to them. You should maintain eye contact with them to enable the message to sink in.
- Emails or instant messaging
This will enable you to pass files/messages to members of your team without pulling them out of their work stations.
As for IM we use, for example, Slack for technical issues about the projects we are working at and off work Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp for team bonding.
There is also Facebook Messenger for Business that can be used for communicating between team members.
- Communication via Training or Use of Presentations
Training should be tailored towards communicating certain information to your team members.
But some people grasp messages easily when pictures and sounds are involved, so using the presentations can give them the opportunity to refer back to it if they aren’t clear about certain things.
You can use Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides which can be easily shared with all the team members.
- Use the Appropriate Tone of Voice
One word can mean a different thing when said in a different tone of voice. Therefore, when communicating your message to your team without being misunderstood or discourage/demotivate members make sure you use the right tone of voice.
Use simple words so everybody can understand it, use body language so your message can be passed faster and better (stand/sit up straight, use smiles, handshakes and eye contact), avoid repetition or use visuals making sure they also see the message giving room for better comprehension.
- Create a Receptive Atmosphere
To communicate effectively with your team, try to avoid tense environment at all costs so the message you are trying to share can be well understood or retained.
Be articulate and avoid mumbling or speaking too quickly so you could be heard clearly, and the message understood properly.
Try to be humorous because it will help pass your message to your team members in a more relaxed way. This method of communication has been proven to be a highly effective way of dousing tension. When the atmosphere is unfriendly and intense, being humorous does the trick.
- Listen to Your Team Members
Communication is intended to be a two-way street. Don’t just talk because you are the leader without listening to anyone else. Encourage them to open up so you can be well guided when communicating in the future with them. You have two ears and one mouth – so you must listen more than you speak.
- Encourage Feedback
Don’t just talk and walk away. Give room for feedback so that you can measure the effectiveness of your style of communication. It will also afford you the privilege of knowing if your message was well understood.
If you’d like to create a short questionnaire for the team members that participate you can use SurveyMonkey which is free for up to 10 questions/survey.
You can also encourage the writing of reviews about the company or its members.
Use your hands to demonstrate your message. Make hand motions and signals to establish the seriousness of your subject matter when communicating with your team members. This shows that you understand what you are trying to relay to them. Just don’t let your body movement become too exaggerated and intense.
- Be Appreciative
After every communication session, via whatever means you have decided, always remember to thank your listeners for their time. It will cost you nothing and it’s a simple courtesy.
- Include Other Departments
When you meet with your team, it’s a good idea to have a rep from another department be a part of that meeting. If you know that your work is influenced by another department, bring their manager in, and conference with them and your team as to how communication with their department can be improved. They can take this feedback to their team, and vis-versa.
Remember that the point of working as a team is to share ideas and boost productivity. When communication is hampered, it can side-track the entire effort.
If the team gets on well, they will automatically communicate better. Building a team spirit not only gives everyone the opportunity to get to know each other better but helps to create an environment where everyone feels they have an investment in the outcome.
Increasing communication is great for business but, as with all things in life, always make it count.