Missing deadlines. Long messy email threads. No idea who will be working on what. Conflicts between team members. Poorly planned projects. Ideas not discussed enough. Scattered and missing files. Waiting for hours to get answers. Delayed feedback. And so on. Sure doesn’t sound like effective communication.
Is your business buried under the same fundamental problems? Does your team have communication issues? Is ineffective communication turning out to be a major business hurdle for you? If the answer to all of these questions is a bleak yes, it’s time to organize your team communication and bring everything into one place.
In research where 400 surveyed corporations (with 100,000 plus employees in the U.S. and U.K.) it was estimated that communication barriers cost the average organization $62.4 million per year in lost productivity.
For a very long time, ineffective communication has been the top concern even for successful businesses. So, how do you foster effective communication skills in your team? How do you stop the rampant productivity drain? What does effective communication mean anyway? Let’s try to answer these simple yet baffling questions one by one.
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Table of Contents
- What do we mean by Effective Communication at workplace?
- 14 Tips To Foster Effective Communication In Your Team And Workplace
- Give Your Whole Attention
- Get a Team Communication App
- Inform and Inspire
- Practice Active Listening
- Choose the Best Method of communication
- Don’t Beat Around the Bush
- Personal Skills
- Confident, Persuasive, and Patient
- Use time wisely
- Conduct team-building activities
- Show appreciation
- Encourage two-way feedback
- Having One-on-One Interactions
- Effective Communication Skills
- Importance of Effective Team Communication in the Workplace
- What are the 4 Types of Workplace Communication?
- The Seven C’s Of Effective Communication
- What Are the Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace?
What do we mean by Effective Communication at workplace?
To get our work done, we can’t turn to the people around us as easily—we have to make a deliberate effort to reach out, connect with others, and build relationships with them.
Effective workplace communication is about making that connection with others in your organization and creating an environment where everyone feels included and heard. It’s about communicating in a way that allows your team to accomplish its goals and make progress.
We’ve all had the experience of being interrupted during a meeting or blocked from getting access to a key piece of information—it’s not fun having to reach out for help again and again when something should just be easy for you.
That’s what we mean by effective workplace communication: getting the information that you need in order to do your job well, when you need it, from the people who can provide it.
14 Tips To Foster Effective Communication In Your Team And Workplace
Give Your Whole Attention
Have you ever been in communication where someone was busy looking at their smartphone while talking or listening to you? That’s called being absent-minded. It’s a sign of poor communication. Therefore, be mindful of how you’re communicating. Offering a full focus by maintaining eye contact during conversations and meetings will contribute greatly to effective communication. Nod your head affirmatively while in a conversation to convey your focus visually.
Get a Team Communication App
Lack of communication can be a major buzzkill for numerous workplace failures. Team communication apps are getting quite popular today to make life easier and collaborate well. It is actually quite time-consuming for teams, clients, and managers to keep track of long email threads. This is where the team collaboration app makes all the difference – helps users to work together on different activities and projects and breaks all barriers to effective communication.
Every project needs an effective communication stream to reflect the progress of the project. The modern workplace is on its way to digital transformation. So, you need to invest in key systems and applications for productivity and communication. According to the needs of your project, communication tools can be an effective way for the whole team to meet up. With task management software, you can make communication streamlined between your team members. They can exchange messages about the tasks and all relevant information can be shared in the same place. It prevents long email threads that have long been one of the communication approaches. With an understanding, the technology is evolving to support you always.
The moral of this story is that if you don’t have proper communication channels set up in your workplace, you’re going to end up wasting a lot of time doing things that aren’t really getting your projects done. Luckily for you, there’s an easy way to fix this problem: team communication software like ProofHub.
Inform and Inspire
More than just passing on the information, be careful of explaining and clarifying your thoughts and ideas to have an effective one. Passing the information is just half the equation. Plan ahead what you want the audience to remember from the conversation. Do you want them to take any kind of action? The most effective communication will make your people take action.
Practice Active Listening
Employees who listen well tend to work better. Listening is twice as important as talking and one big important part of effective communication skills in business. Listening should not be taken for granted. Do not just sit back, barely awake, letting the speaker’s words wash over you. The more you listen well, the better you receive the information.
Do you know how to listen well? Here’s how?
- Make eye contact with the speaker
- Respond appropriately
- No interruptions, please
- Examine your body language
Choose the Best Method of communication
To communicate well means to understand and be understood. Knowing the right methods of communication is as important as having effective communication skills.
- Visual communication via charts, maps, images, and graphs.
- Verbal communication through face to face, by phone, and other media.
- Non-verbal communication through body language, eye contact, gestures.
- Written communication through letters, e-mails, books, magazines, and the internet.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush
Keeping in mind the importance of communication at the workplace, the next big thing is clear, concise communication. Whether you’re into verbal communication or non-verbal communication, do not get into a long speech to get your point across. You do want to respect everyone’s time, so be brief, to the point, and balance brevity with a human touch.
Interpersonal communication skills will do good for both your professional and personal life. You will need it every day in your life. It includes skills related to emotional intelligence or being able to understand your own and others’ emotions. For example, high self-esteem and confidence can help you have more positivity about yourself and what you can do, including communication. And positivity leads to effectiveness.
Confident, Persuasive, and Patient
There is a difference between being able to communicate and communicating effectively. Along with the above tips, having just a little patience, confidence and persuasiveness can help you communicate your information more effectively. Confidence means taking care of what your body language is. Your own sense of self-worth will make you feel effective, rather than helpless.
- Keep your arms uncrossed
- Maintain an erect posture
- Maintain eye contact
- Keep your devices away
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Use time wisely
Utilizing coffee breaks can keep the team-building spirit strong and give everyone an opportunity to get to know each other better. Team bonding is a better way to improve communication channels. Coffee breaks is an ideal opportunity for informal meetings and discussions. It encourages healthy communication amongst colleagues and also promotes the exchange of ideas. Let your team members have coffee breaks at the same time to create an ideal environment for team members to relax and discuss issues. And this art of conversation will often encourage the team to discuss work as well. Thus coffee will not only act as an energy booster throughout the day but also promote productivity with relaxed conversations.
Conduct team-building activities
Team building activities have a great impact on the productivity and overall teamwork of your team. It can help your people to communicate better, and also help them to build good relationships with one another. Create structure opportunities for your employees to collaborate through activities like team lunch, ice breaker games in meetings, group meetings, fitness sessions, puzzle-solving games, or any outdoor activity. You can schedule these activities at the end of the month or weekly to get your team together in the room.
Tell your employees, coworkers, and colleagues about how much you care and respect them. Showing appreciation is an effective way to deal with low employee morale and to make your team members feel like they matter. This is a method to promote communication in the team. Give a token of appreciation to your team members by congratulating them for great ideas, thanking a team member for finishing a task, and expressing gratitude even for small acts.
Encourage two-way feedback
In order to have a smooth work environment, it is important to have two-way communication. In the workplace, feedback is important to generate results, where the main objective is to strengthen progress towards company goals. A common mistake that leaders make when offering feedback is turning it into one way dialogue (feedback). They give no opportunity to employees to present their own comments and concerns. Encouraging two-way feedback is a sign of good communication in the workplace that will give your team a chance to self-evaluate. Give detailed feedback to increase team communication and to coach your team members. You can keep a written record of feedback via your task management system which can help increase overall communication and productivity.
Having One-on-One Interactions
Successful teams are made of team members who are purposeful in their interactions. One-on-one interactions are important with every individual you hire to make sure employee engagement doesn’t fall short in your workplace. During these interactions, set your expectations and needs. Tell them about what your project demands, what are the norms of your company for employees, and give them adequate preparation time to maximize their potential. When having one-on-one interactions, make sure you know when to listen to what your employees have to say. The leaders need to put their best foot forward for their new hires to get to the bottom of things.
Effective Communication Skills
Growing better communication habits for the future means practicing effective communication skills and being a powerful communicator. But what are the examples of effective communication? Well, here are 3 communication skills you should work on:
- Be aware of your body
Your body tells a story about you.
- Crossed or folded arms – Defensiveness
- Hands held behind the body – Confidence
- Mending clothes, accessories, watch– Nervousness
- Clenched fists – Anger or anxiety
- Squeezing hands – Self-soothing
- Active listening – That means being completely present of what the speaker is trying to impart.
- Delivering with confidence – You need to develop a strong delivery by being patient, kind to yourself, and slowing down.
- Keep it Positive- Last but not least, try to stay positive. No matter whatever state of mind you are in, being positive will save you from getting into a bad conversation.
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Importance of Effective Team Communication in the Workplace
Gallup’s report on the “State of the American Workforce” reveals only 13 percent of the nearly 31 million employees surveyed said their leaders practice and cultivate effective workplace communication.
Good communication is an integral element when it comes to communication in the workplace. Do you know the power of good communication in the workplace?
- Take you a long way to building effective teams
- Let everyone have a voice to communicate freely
- Openly communicate ideas without the fear of outrage
- Good communication increases employee engagement
- Fosters a more productive and talented workforce
- Work satisfaction for always
- Eliminate misunderstandings, ambiguities, and questions
- Builds a safe place for people to think creatively
What are the 4 Types of Workplace Communication?
- Verbal communication: conversations, interviews, calls
- Intrapersonal – conversations with ourselves
- Interpersonal – one-on-one conversation
- Small group – press conferences, board meetings, and team meeting
- Public – presentation, public speeches
- Non-verbal communication: voice tone, facial expressions, postures
- Written communication: letters, memos, reports
- Visual communication: photographs, videos, films
The Seven C’s Of Effective Communication
To make sure you communicate in the most effective manner possible, you need to know what are the 7 principles of communication. Therefore, the below list of the 7Cs of communication, also known as the 7 principles of communication, will provide you with a useful checklist to ensure good communication in the workplace.
When the message that you want to convey is concrete – not liable to have fallen, your audience (team or clients) will have a clear picture of what you’re trying to tell them. It will only be concrete when it has suitable data that backs it up. Your argument should be supported by factual material that includes data and figures, leaving no space for the audience to imagine the things.
The whole point behind your message will be useless when you are not coherent. You need to have a good understanding of what goes where and what comes when. Coherent communication is logical. It is a well-planned, logical, and sequential manner of communication. There should be a good connection with the main topic and the flow should be consistent.
The purpose of your message should be clear so that the reader doesn’t head up scratching his/her head to understand what you mean. Be clear of what format do you want to say it in. Be clear about your goal or purpose. Your readers shouldn’t have to make assumptions regarding what you’re trying to say. For example, the sentences should be short, prefer the active voice and state it in separate bulleted points.
Commitment is a major part of workplace communication skills. It simply measures one’s dedication and the degree to which one communicates surety in the argument. It convinces the prospects kindly. A well-committed message will leave a greater impact and increase your morale.
The choice of words matters when you are communicating at work. Your words shouldn’t leave your team confused. You need to communicate your message in the least possible words, have the consistency of tone, voice, and content so that you can save time. There is no room for repetition. Try to use short sentences and short words.
Never leave your sentences incomplete. Each message must have a logical conclusion. People shouldn’t be left wondering if there is more to come. Make sure you communicate completely that includes the need to be informed and take action.
Let’s keep it positive. Your argument should make the other person respectful. Try your best that in your communication you’re honest, respectful, open, and polite. Say it with proper care and it will be perfectly effective and important. Offensive words can put off people.
Remember it starts with you creating new effective habits to improve communication in the workplace. You can not definitely ignore how you communicate. Grow to be a good communicator to have strong conversations.
What Are the Benefits of Effective Communication in the Workplace?
There are numerous benefits of effective communication. You’d be surprised how effective communication brings a big change in the workplace. Let’s learn how it will benefit you.
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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, "Let’s go!" instead of "Go!" many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.
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