Managing team communication is vital to ensure a happy and engaged workplace, full of confidence and staff satisfaction. But how do you master the art of communicating with your team to achieve that?
I’ve been thinking about how to support my clients with communicating with their teams as a leader so they can be a good example to their staff and improve the quality of overall communications. To do this, I started by looking at the five methods of communicating:
- Active listening
To really make sure your team communicates openly and honestly, you must begin by leading by example. Practise the following tips and you’ll notice your team mirroring them in the future.
Verbal communication skills
Possibly the first and most important communication skill to master is how we speak to one another. Whether it’s on the phone, over video calls or face to face in the office, our speech can be incredibly powerful.
Try to maintain positivity, reasoning and control when holding team meetings and when having one-to-ones. If you’re discussing something emotive, it’s OK to allow your team to see how you’re affected by it, but don’t let it sidetrack the purpose for the communication.
TIP: When you talk to your team, remember the power speech has to both give and destroy confidence.
Out of all five methods, this is the one that comes most naturally. Teams quickly pick up on body language – naturally open, or naturally closed, but they can equally spot when someone’s trying too hard to hide something too.
Practise changing those little things like eye-rolling, or arm folding that could put your team members on guard or make them feel belittled. Body language can be changed though, and once you do, others will be more relaxed around you.
TIP: If you have a team member with negative body language, try to speak to them honestly about it from a perspective of growth, and try not to mirror it!
Written communication tactics
How many times have you written and re-written an email before you sent it? I know I do it all the time and it’s a perfectly good method of ensuring you’re capturing the right tone and intention in the written word. We all know how difficult it is to measure intonation from written words, so I suggest trying something like emailing yourself or a trusted supporter to help you get better perspective.
TIP: Give your writing the once over, looking for judgemental, brusque or inflammatory language. And always avoid writing in block capitals!
Visual communications such as a PowerPoint presentation are in my opinion similar to written. You have the benefit of time to ensure you’ve got the right tone, so let’s move straight onto active listening.
Active listening skills
Active listening skills mean you are listening to understand – not waiting for your turn to talk again! Combined with open and positive body language, you may wish to paraphrase the other person’s side of the discussion before using open-ended questions to find a point of positive conclusion.
Remember, you may go into a conversation with a particular viewpoint but be prepared for your opinion to be changed by what you learn from actively listening.
TIP: If you feel your point is still justified, or you feel you can’t agree, remain positive about the fact your team member is being open and honest with you. Acknowledge that fact, then in return tell them you have to be open and honest with them.
I’ve enjoyed delving into this topic, and I’ve found that it’s a good for discussion among other leaders. If you’d like a networking one-to-one with me to get a better idea of my views on communication and to share yours, let’s connect.
Likewise, if you feel you need support communicating with your teams, let’s have a chat. I offer an hour of free business mentoring to help you find the solution to your concerns.