“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place”
George Bernard Shaw
Communication is an integral part of both our personal and professional lives and becoming an effective communicator is one of the most powerful tools any personal can learn and put into practice.
Having clear lines of communication at all levels of an organisation is an essential part of maintaining strong working relationships. Those who communicate clearly will quickly build trust and perhaps increase productivity, output and even staff morale.
Why? Because poor communication in the workplace inevitably leads to demotivated staff and if you or your company is sending out mixed messages this can spell disaster through a lack of confidence ultimately in the organisation itself.
How can you and your company improve communications?
- Have clearly defined goals and expectations for both individuals and teams and ensure that the department and company as a whole are aware expected outcomes on projects and 'deliverables'.
- Deliver your message clearly, politely and concisely so as not to cause confusion or offense.
- Choose the best method of delivery. Face to face communication is by far the best way to build trust but it’s not always possible. You will need to decide which alternatives are the most appropriate to the message you are trying to convey.
- Ensuring that lines of communication are kept open at all times is critical, particularly if you have remote staff. Actively seek and encourage progress reports and project updates.
- Listen! Perhaps the most commonly overlooked step of good communication. Listening to other parties shows respect and allows you to understand any issues or problems that may need addressing further.
- Be visible and approachable and invite feedback. Valuing it and acting upon it will open up the communication process for all parties.
- Communicating regularly means that your staff feel more engaged in what’s going on and therefore more motivated to help achieve the company’s goals making your organisation a much nicer place to work.
- Regularly repeat your messages if needs be to ensure that everyone has heard and absorbed them.
You don’t even have to be a great speaker but the ability to communicate effectively is a prerequisite for good leadership and business success.