5 Tips for Raising Your Communication Game

by Bekah Nash

Raise your hand if you have absolutely no room to grow in the area of effective communication?  Anybody?  Yeah…my hand’s not up either.  Workplace communication is a challenge for the large majority of business owners and managers, regardless of their industry affiliation.  But, as challenging as it may be, effective communication is essential to building a successful business.

Below are 5 tips that have the power to positively impact your communication skills in a BIG way.  They will encourage you to slow down and put a bit more thought into how you communicate with your team on a daily basis.  It’s been my experience that taking more care on the front end means less mess on the back end!

TIP #1 Know your team…personally.

What’s her dog’s name?  Why is he a vegetarian?  Can you answer questions like these about individuals on your team?  Taking the time to talk about what makes them who they are takes a bit of time you may not think you have, but I promise it’s worth making the time to get to know them.  If your team has a sense that they matter to you, they are much more likely to stick with you no matter the current circumstances. 

TIP #2 Give them your full attention.

This one can be difficult to execute every time someone on your team wants to chat with you.  Scheduled 1 on 1 meetings can really help you focus in on them when it’s “their time”.  However, even if they catch you off guard every now and then, resist the temptation to be impatient or distracted.  People feel valued when they feel important.

TIP #3 Take their ideas seriously.

We can never discredit the fact that our employees are the very people that

are 

carrying out

 the systems we’ve put into place.  They’re very reliable sources when it comes to getting a true understanding of how you can improve your business!  Not only should you take their ideas seriously, you should also take time to sincerely thank them for sharing them with you. 

TIP #4 Explain the “why” behind things.

“Because I said so” isn’t very effective with adults.  Extending the courtesy of explaining the 

why

 behind your decisions can help cultivate buy-in with your team.  This is because explanations indicate to them that you care about how they feel or think about something.

TIP #5 Be kind, but clear with correction and redirection.

I saved this one for last because it’s the one I really hope stays with you!  I believe most of us would admit that it can be a little scary to correct and redirect our team members.  The fear is rooted in our inability to control their reaction to our criticism.  The question then becomes, how can I feel more confident in my correction and redirection to my team?  Take a minute and reread tips 1-4 above.  When you’re executing 1-4 on a regular basis, number 5 will become exponentially easier for you!  Your team members want to know how to do their job well and how they can improve.  Your job is to make sure you are constantly nurturing your relationships with them.

You’ve heard it said before, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.  The trick to effective communication is to show your team how valuable they are to you. 

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