Communication in your office is vital to the success of your business. When everyone in the team has the freedom to say their ideas and speak their mind respectfully, there is no resentment and misunderstandings. As a result, your team can collaborate to achieve your company’s goals. In contrast, ineffective communication will harm your business because there is no teamwork, resulting in frustration and a lack of motivation.
How everyone in your office communicates has the power to set the tone for your corporate culture. If you think your office is in dire need of a tune-up, consider these four surefire strategies to help improve workplace communication.
Improve Communication in the Workplace
Emphasize the Importance of Paying Attention
Conduct a team-building seminar where you have to emphasize that it is essential to pay attention to others. Play pass the message activity where you ask the team members to form a line. You whisper one long sentence to the first person on the line, and he whispers it to the next person until they reach the end. The last person will say it out loud, and usually, it is typical for the message to be distorted.
Through this activity, you will be able to show them how easily a message can be misconstrued if no one is paying close attention, and this can have detrimental results if you are relaying important client information. It is even trickier now because workers are easily distracted by mobile devices. Now, more than ever, it is vital for everyone in your office to understand that lack of focus devalues a conversation because people will tune out. Instead, teach them to maintain eye contact and stay present.
Prioritize Keeping Everyone Informed and Inspired
The fundamental core of communication is the exchange of information. Saying something or explaining it verbally is not the only way to get your ideas across. Passing the right information is critical, so be sure to rely on other
methods. Send explicit emails so everyone in your team will be on the same page about important dates, objectives, and meetings.
You can use digital displays and video signs in the high traffic areas for everyone to see what’s going on. In your conference room, you can set up a collaboration display so everyone can see reminders and get instant updates on the minute of the meeting. Relying on kiosks and enterprise TVs that broadcast company information in highly visible areas will significantly improve workplace communication.
Promote the Virtue of Taking Time to Really Listen
Communication is not a one-way street. For this to be successful, you also need to be a good listener. Your team has to realize that listening is just as critical as speaking. If someone is unable to balance these two components, there will be a breakdown in the communication cycle. Thus, lead by example and do not monopolize the conversation.
People who love to listen to the sound of their own voice are often tuned about by others. Instead, be intentional with your word choices. Pause when someone is speaking, nod your head, and ask follow up questions to show you are invested in the conversation. Teach your team that when a person is an active listener, they inspire others to speak up more.
Remind Everyone that Communication Is Not Just Words
Your spoken words are only a fraction of the message you are trying to relay. Apart from verbal communication, there is also the non-verbal aspect called body language. Sometimes, it is not what you say, but how you say it that makes a huge difference.
Remind your team members that tone plays a vital role in how effective they are in what they’re saying. Thus, everyone must maintain a relaxed appearance and a pleasant tone even when they are discussing sensitive information. Avoid crossing arms, which is a defensive gesture. Instead, show how putting hands down the side, smiling, and maintaining a pleasant aura is more effective for ensuring your office communication is always in tiptop shape.
Constant reminders about communicating effectively in your regular company meetings should help everyone in your team. Relaying the correct information, maintaining harmonious relationships, and encouraging the flow of ideas are all necessary to ensure the success of your company. If you neglect this aspect, it can spell the demise of your business because the people you need to work together will not be allies but enemies.