Open and clear communication in the workplace is one of the most important aspects of running any business, whatever the industry or sector. In fact, we’d go as far as to say it’s essential for both employers and employees alike. Poor communication at work can lead to a range of potential problems which can have an adverse effect on staff performance and colleague relationships. 
 
Is this an area where you or your team needs to improve in 2020? Here we’ll look at some of the best ways to help become a better communicator at work with effective communication between team members and managers. 
 
Regular 1-to-1 catch ups 
If you’re a manager, it’s important that your door is always open, allowing your team to speak to you as and when they need to. But keeping an ‘open door’ can mean interruptions and distractions which could make you far less productive over the course of your working day. 
 
Of course, you should be available for those unavoidable one-off or urgent questions, but a far more constructive use of your time would be to schedule regular 1-to-1 meetings with your team. This will give you dedicated time to discuss their priorities and goals, as well as having the time and space for staff to voice any concerns, problems, or grievances they might have. 
 
Whether you schedule these weekly or monthly is up to you, but making them a recurring event in your, and your teams, calendars means you both know there’s time set aside in advance. This will give your team the knowledge that, though you might not be available at all times of the day, they will always have an opportunity to be heard and listened to. 
 
Weekly team meetings 
Just as important as the individual 1-to-1 meetings, team meetings also play a vital role in team communication, ensuring you’re all working together and pulling in the same direction. Giving the whole team the chance to come together, team meetings are generally used to help improve the performance and productivity of the team as a whole. 
 
But they also help keep the team up to date with what their colleagues are working on. All too often team members can be unaware of what their colleagues do or may be responsible for, so this is an ideal opportunity to open those communication channels, maintain transparency, and encourage more team collaboration. 
 
Beyond this, they’re useful to announce any new strategies or projects that may be coming up, as well as any commentary or updates on current projects. It can also be a great time to introduce a quick Q&A session for team members to discuss more general ideas or thoughts in the open and add value. 
 
Listen and get to know your team 
Team communications should always be a two-way process. Rather than being ‘the boss’ who issues demands and deadlines, have a discussion with the team members who’ll be doing the work. Your brief may be overlooking specific details which might not be taken into consideration and their input could prove invaluable. 
 
Getting feedback and insights from your team on tasks or projects will help them feel more valued and included in the project. Plus, it will give them a feeling of trust and responsibility which, in turn, will lead to higher productivity and increased personal well being. 
 
It also pays to get to know your team on a personal level too. Ask about their lives outside of work, their family, hobbies, or interests - you might find you have more in common than you think. The process will help break down barriers and being able to speak openly to each other will certainly be conducive to improving motivation, giving you an efficient and effective workforce. 
 
But also look beyond the office to forge relationships with your colleagues. Team building activities or even a meal out will help build relationships and friendships which can all lead to a better, happier, and more relaxed work environment. 
 
Essential communication skills 
The art of effective communication isn’t just limited to team leaders and Managers. If you’re a member of a team at any level, it’s important to have the ability to communicate effectively with your colleagues. Communication skills go beyond just speaking and there are plenty of ways to improve them. 
 
At the heart of being a good communicator is being a good listener. By actively listening and paying attention to what colleagues are saying, you’ll get a better understanding of what’s being asked of you and you can respond more effectively. But always remember to ask questions if you need to. 
 
Non-verbal communication and your body language is also a key consideration. Being relaxed in pose and posture with good eye contact, hand gestures, and a friendly tone to your voice will create an instantly engaging rapport. But look out for these things when talking to your colleagues - they may give you clues as to how they really think or feel. 
 
And having an open mind with your work conversations will help you understand someone else’s point of view more effectively. Rather than dismissing what’s being said, take it in and empathise with your colleague. This shows you respect their thoughts and point of view even if you might disagree. 
 
Talk to us today 
Being able to communicate clearly, openly, and effectively in the workplace will result in a healthy, motivational, and positive working environment for everyone. And understanding how to achieve that is an important first step to ensuring everyone knows what’s expected of them and creating a more enjoyable workplace. 
 
Whether you’re a manager, team leader or employee; our 1-day Effective Communication Training course is for you if you want to improve your communication in any way. The course can be tailored to meet your own workplace requirements, helping you in specific areas, and gives you a personal action plan with plenty of take aways for you to use immediately. 
 
The course suits smaller groups of up to 15 people and will be delivered by one of our fully qualified communication training professionals at your choice of time, day, and venue anywhere in the UK. For more information and to book your course, call us today on 01392 248 130 or email info@clearfocustraining.co.uk  
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