Communication is Vital as Captain of the Ship!
Written by Shelly Verma, Contributing Writer
It is important in a leadership role that you communicate effectively, as an age old saying “it’s not what you say, but how you say it” reiterates. Communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Having effective communication skills is the key to good leadership.
When you communicate well with your team, it helps eliminate misunderstandings and can encourage a healthy and peaceful workplace. Efficient communication with your team will also let you get work done quickly and professionally. Once you get the lines of communication open with your team, the process of carrying out tasks and projects will most likely go by effortlessly.
Some things to keep in mind when communicating with your team:
As a team leader, you should take full responsibility for proper communication amongst your team members and you must position yourself as a model for how you want the team to communicate. Be entirely honest with your teammates, even if it means telling someone that you don’t entirely agree with their ideas or that you want to take the project in a different direction. Express your concern in front of the entire team rather than behind their back.
Efficient communication with your team will also let you get work done quickly and professionally.
Make adjustments to your management style and communication skills first before you attempt to communicate effectively with your team. Try to understand the significance of formal verbal (e.g. meetings, conference calls, or any instructions to be delivered to the team) and non-verbal (e.g. e-mails, letters or minutes-of-the-meeting) communication cues when talking to your team and conducting meetings.
If there are any communication issues, talk with your team directly. Have a brief discussion with each team member individually to learn their concerns, suggestions or ideas of improvement to the current workflow process. Try to get to know each member of your team on a deeper level. This kind of one-on-one talk will allow you to learn more about each member’s way of communication and working style.
You could also discover which of these individuals has the qualities to make an effective team leader going forward.
When you take into consideration the information you are getting from team members in terms of what is important to them, you will be in a better position of achieving good communication skills like making sure what you are communicating to them is clear and assertive enough.
Set up a meeting with the entire team to discuss if any issues are causing a rift between members. Let each team member air out grievances regarding the work assigned or his role in the team.
Keep a fixed schedule when you’re conducting meetings in-person, online, or over the phone. Talk to your team using words that they can relate to instead of technical jargon or professional talk that they may or may not comprehend. Provide team members with reports of the meeting to help eliminate confusion later-on.
Once you have delivered your message, allow your team to ask questions to clear up any confusion or misunderstanding. For instance, if you send a written communication to your team, ask them to reply to your message with questions or concerns to discuss at your next meeting.
The point of working as a team is to share ideas and boost productivity, although broken down communication among the members can sidetrack the entire effort. Create some ground rules to keep everyone up to date, which helps avoid confusion and complete the project with ease.
Shelly Verma is an avid small business writer touching on topics from insurance, health, higher education, career improvement, self-help to home improvement.
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