“We got to communicate better!” this is often the foremost evident catch-all solution people offer to repair all types of problems within the workplace – from poor safety to a failing merger; from poor management to an unmotivated workforce. And it’s true. to assist people perform better in any organisation at whatever they are doing everybody has got to find ways to speak more effectively.
However, there are three problems with the catchall “we-have-to-communicate-better”. Firstly, we do not take time to pin down exactly what we mean by “more effective communication”. Secondly, the definite recommendations seem so simplistic and time-consuming that folks do not believe their value. Thirdly, the solutions seem so mundane – so non-sexy – that folks don’t need to try to to them.
So here are twelve pinned-down suggestions. they do not need great brainpower but in some instances they’ll take time to implement. they have been gleaned from practical efforts at helping colleagues improve their business performance. this suggests that if you do not take steps to implement them yourself or delegate the implementation, there’s nothing else. There are many other “effective communication tips”, but the twelve during this article have proved most powerful.
1. Scrap glossy corporate magazines.
They seem sort of a good idea and that they look very professional but nobody reads them. I see them accumulated in offices and factories and once I ask people if they read them the solution is usually “no”. Instead, spend the time and money on smaller targeted ways of reaching specific audiences (customers, policy-makers and therefore the public, for example) and telling them what you would like them to understand or do.
2. Make newsletters shorter, more direct and more frequent.
Quarterly, full color, sixteen-page newsletters aren’t being read. Remember, people don’t need to read anything work-related and therefore the internet has now created a generation that can’t read long articles. People want relevant information quickly. Issue the newsletter monthly. Limit it to 2 sides of A4 with less than two photographs. Use bullet points throughout and use a font no smaller than 12pt. an equivalent goes for all types of reports. Encourage people to stay them as short as possible.
3. Scrap massive presentations to many employees.
The great big corporate presentation with microphones, triumphal music and vague “feel-good” or “wake-up call” speeches, are a waste of your time and energy . people that attend enjoy the jaunt but invariably do not know what they’re alleged to do afterwards. Rather, take the time to possess ten separate smaller gatherings with detailed question and answer sessions. Progress is formed when people can express their real concerns and enormous events intimidate most of the people – even senior people.
4. Reduce the display of statistics.
People want to understand what the numbers mean for them and what they need to try to to about them. Encourage people in talks and reports to offer only a summary of the numbers and to concentrate 70% of their communication on the implications. you will get some resistance because deciding implications requires considerable thought!
5. Avoid point and death by overheads.
Unfortunately, if you employ point your audience will first get on edge because the technology never works and second will cut . People remember the gimmicks and therefore the computer graphics , not what you’ve said. stick with well prepared, relevant OHP slides. during a 25-minute talk you want to limit the slides to 5 .
6. Don’t allow people to use meetings to transmit information.
Meetings take double the time they ought to because we sit passively taking note of someone telling a story – albeit a crucial one. Use meetings to debate the problems and to form decisions. Find simpler ways to disseminate information. Insist that folks circulate any quite information (reports, accounts, plans then on) beforehand . Don’t allow people to read documents within the meeting if they haven’t done their homework.
7. Managers should tell people more of what is happening.
Not sharing enough information may be a major problem. Managers should tell people the maximum amount as possible, albeit you think that it’s not relevant to them. for instance , make available parts of the business plan. Let people know what is going on to happen three months from now. If you do not know, say so. Naturally, commercial sensitivity must be respected. Some companies make available company profit and loss statements. However, here’s the trick. the knowledge has got to be very concise and amid a transparent explanation of what impact, if any, it’ll wear people. Similarly we should always tell our peers in other departments what we are close to do. One department not telling the opposite what it’s doing causes many mistakes.
8. Employees should tell managers more of what is happening.
Employees are becoming into difficulties because they are not being honest in telling their supervisors or managers what’s really happening . Managers need this information to form necessary changes and as employees we just need to force ourselves to boost problems openly. we’ve to beat our fear of upsetting the boss. However, here’s the trick. Managers need the knowledge during a way that helps them. a fast scribbled note or heated phone message is not any good. State the matter clearly, offer some solutions and request what you would like done. Similarly, we should always tell our mates what we are close to do. Merely one person not telling another what he has just done or is close to can cause serious and dear mistakes.
9. Respond as quickly as possible to any request.
The biggest complaint I hear from colleagues about poor communication is that folks are slow to, or never, respond. People are submitting important requests they have to progress employment , never to listen to a word in response. Acknowledge requests as soon as they’re received. Thank people and explain what you’ll do with the request. Keep people informed frequently on progress and if the solution is “no” give reasons.
10. Consult more and have more informal talks.
We all know that fruitful business often gets done during breaks, meal times and recreational events instead of within the actual conferences or workshops themselves. So extend this to everyday practice. Talk with people not as an interrogating boss but as someone who wants to form things better. Ask people what they have to try to to a good better job. Ask them the way to improve the meetings. Ask them what they think is hindering the department doing even better. Express your major current fear about the business and ask how they might alleviate this fear.
11. Control e-mailitis.
Technology has made us lazy. it is so easy to send copies to everybody stupidly if they actually need or want them. Minimize the amount of copies. Try telephoning first. you’ll say such a lot more and obtain the context of things during a three-minute call . Don’t assume people have received your e-mails. Ask them to reply or check by telephoning. Don’t use e-mails as weapons: “Oh but I e-mailed you last week so it is your fault!”
12. Speak and write in plain English.
Use words people understand. Why use “axiomatic” once you can say “self-explanatory”. Be concise in order that “at this moment in time” becomes “now” and “events that have happened within the past” becomes “past events”. additionally , say what you mean. The man’s health was suffering from the weather doesn’t tell us much. we would like to understand how his health was affected.