Fostering Effective Communication

Office dynamics can be tricky, especially when it comes to working together on projects or supervising others.  If you are a business owner, effective communication is paramount to your success.  How well you communicate with your team and your team communicates with each other is also a reflection of a healthy company culture.

Here are a few suggestions to foster better communications in the workplace:

  1. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t beat around the bush when you have something to say.  It’s important that you communicate exactly what you expect of others in terms of productivity, meeting deadlines, and results of a given project.  If you aren’t clear with each other, it can lead to misunderstandings, frustration and missed goals.
  2. Actively listen. This is especially true when you are having a disagreement.  Your goal is to foster trust, and in a trusting relationship each person is heard.  A great way to reinforce this is to mirror back what the other person said.  For example, you could say, “here’s what I understand you are saying…”  That way, you can also clarify and avoid a misunderstanding.
  3. Be open and honest. Communication is a two-way street.  You need to allow your team to express their views and feel like they have some skin in the game.  It’s better to explain why you want something done a specific way than to tell them to just do it and be short about it.  Encourage everyone to participate and collaborate.  It will go a long way towards building a cohesive and strong team.
  4. Be approachable. We’ve all had those bosses or co-workers that could kill with a glance and you avoid at all costs.  Instead of always being in a hurry or short with others, focus on projecting a positive attitude where everyone feels comfortable talking with you regardless of the topic.
  5. Actively seek feedback. Sometimes we don’t like to hear what others have to say, especially if it is negative.  The thing is, if done correctly and with the right intent, feedback can be an excellent way to not only improve performance but also foster a sense of community.

How do you foster open communication at work and in your other relationships?  Comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.

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