We talk to our colleagues every day (hopefully), but how much are we really hearing one another? Here are 5 simple steps that can help your Tribe improve communication in the workplace.
1) Talk face-to-face
Email strings can get your team in a bit of a muddle because, let’s face it, it’s not the clearest method of communication. If something can be said face-to-face by simply leaving your desk/office, then what’s not to love? Putting in some time with people won’t just ensure that the message is delivered correctly, but it also gives the impression that your colleagues can come to you about other things as well. If it’s really important and you want a time stamped trail – why not follow up an important meeting with a wrap-up email?
2) Structured communication
Schedule a meeting every week to catch up with your team. This time with your team can be very proactive, but also very therapeutic. Give everyone an equal chance to talk through their projects, request feedback or ask for support where it’s necessary. Not only does it inspire group creativity and problem solving, but it also gives you a regular chance to assess the workloads and well-being of your team.
3) Confidence to talk
Not everybody is confident in their communication skills. For some people, making a comment in front of a group of people can be their idea of a nightmare – so when communicating with them, be sure to build up their confidence. Give them the floor without interrupting or talking over them, engage them instead of dismissing them, show appreciation for their comments, then give them constructive feedback should it be necessary. Once everyone in the team feels comfortable enough to voice their ideas, you’ll have one inspirational team.
4) Socialising outside of work
This doesn’t necessarily have to be a weekly catch up at the pub, but getting to know your colleagues on a more personal level can only improve communication. If socialising outside of work is out of the question, consider checking in with your colleagues every now and again. Simply showing an interest their lives outside of work shows you care about them and are open to talking should they need an ear.
5) Don’t talk at all
Communication is a two way street – and sometimes it’s your job to just listen. Stop whatever you’re doing, give your full time and attention, but most importantly, listen to what the other person is saying. Sometimes the most productive outcome is when someone feels they’ve really been heard. Let them talk, then come up with solutions as a team instead of dictating.
We think that team building is a great way to socialise outside of work as well as building confidence between colleagues. When was the last time your team got out of the office and spent a day together? If you or your Tribe are interested in some tree-time at Go Ape, request a quote here for your tailored team day out.