Developing communications strategy is important for any kind of business because not only will it help staff members feel more involved and engaged, the practice enables the promotion of creativity and productivity. Proper and effective team communication strategies help increase the likelihood of a more unified team, since co-workers who are kept in the loop and are informed are likely to meet the goals of their projects in a timely manner.
Here are some of the best team communication strategies you can utilize in any project or your company as a whole:
1. Open lines of communication
When developing communications strategy, remember that it is not simply about promoting an agenda or thought. The practice is about two-way interaction. It is as much about the sender of the message as it is about the receiver.
Make sure that lines of communication are open between managers and employees and amongst staff members. When communication lines are open, staff members are more comfortable giving their ideas and feedback to the whole team. When this is the case, teams are more likely to be productive and creative. Work environments become more effective and efficient.
2. Don’t scapegoat and blame other team members
Avoid the “blame game”. Blaming others simply promotes friction and resentment. Team members will more likely pull away and detach themselves from the group and the project if they feel that they are constantly blamed and criticized when challenged and issues occur. Of course accountability and responsibility are important; however, interact with your employees in a calm, empathetic and kind way. Don’t throw out accusations.
If you are at fault for particular problems, take responsibility and do not scapegoat. Do not blame others for your own faults and shortcomings.
3. Be direct
When developing communications strategy, remember to always be direct. Direct and straightforward communication with team members is extremely effective. Never assume that your team members already know what you know. Don’t immediately believe that they understand instructions even if the messaging was unclear, and that they know what is expected of them even if the way the message was relayed did not give the step-by-step guide of particular work processes.
Managers should be clear-cut and concise when they are addressing their team members regarding their responsibilities and regarding what is expected of them. Vagueness and ambiguity simply don’t help get the job done.
4. Be unselfish
Make sure that when you are developing communications strategy that you always maintain an unselfish attitude. This involves the refusal to promote a selfish and personal agenda when communicating with your team members. Managers and employees should listen to each other’s views and ideas without putting their egos in to play. Even if you believe that your idea is the best, there is no harm in listening to other suggestions and thoughts. By being unselfish, you may discover that good ideas are built on to even greater ones.
5. Avoid remarks that are defensive
One of the most effective communication strategies to utilize in the workplace is to affirm your team members instead of using defensive remarks when interacting with them. Remarks such as “Do what you want,” “I don’t care what you do,” or “You’re doing it wrong” can learn to hurt feelings, which can in turn result in resentment and friction. Instead of leading with sarcasm and apathy, use positive language to communicate with your employees. Positivity, respect and courtesy leads to a workplace that is more collaborative and productive. If you feel that a team member needs to be corrected, give your constructive feedback privately and not in front of the whole group.