As you work with your team every day, you want your communication to be as effective as possible so that you can keep your business on track. If your team communication is going to be effective, it will be about much more than just the exchange of information; it will also need to be about understanding the intent and feelings behind the information.
Communicating more clearly and effectively is not instinctual – it requires learning some essential skills that will help you build greater trust and respect between all the members of your team and improve teamwork and problem-solving.
Effective Communication Begins With Active Listening.
There’s a big difference between simply hearing someone talk and actively listening. When you’re an engaged listener, you will better understand the other person and make that person feel heard and understood, which can help build a stronger, deeper connection between both of you.
A few tips to help you become an engaged listener:
- Focus entirely on the speaker. You can’t listen engagingly if you’re checking your smartphone or thinking about something else. If your mind is somewhere else, it can cause the speaker to feel disrespected, which is certainly counter-intuitive.
- Favor your right ear. Did you know? The left side of the brain is connected to the right side of the body, which contains the primary processing centers for both speech comprehension and emotions.
- Avoid redirecting the conversation to your concerns. Listening is not the same as waiting for your turn to talk.
- Show interest. Encourage the speaker to continue with small verbal comments that show you are present.
- Provide feedback. If there seems to be a disconnect, reflect on what has been said by paraphrasing. “What I’m hearing is,” or “Sounds like you are saying,” are great ways to reflect.
Effective Communication Needs To Be Stress-Free.
We have all felt stressed during a disagreement with someone at some point, finding ourselves saying something we later regretted. It’s only when you’re in a calm state that you’ll be able to know whether the situation requires a response or for you to remain silent.
A few ways to help lessen or remove stress from your conversation:
- Pause and reflect. Silence indeed can be golden, and a pause can give you time to stay in control of your words.
- One point at a time. If your responses are too lengthy and touch on too many points you can lose your listener’s interest. Focus on one topic and follow it to its conclusion for an effective result.
- Deliver your words clearly. In many cases, how you say something is just as important as what you say. Speak clearly and maintain an even tone, making eye contact as you converse.
- Summarize. Summarize your response and then stop talking, even if it leaves silence in the room. You don’t have to fill the silence by continuing to talk.
- A bit of humor. Humor can be a great stress reliever during a conversation when used appropriately. When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or an amusing story.
- Agree to disagree. Sometimes compromise is the only answer.
Building effective communication with your team will happen one conversation at a time, and it’s a powerful way to improve your company culture and environment. Piccolo is here to help you achieve all your business goals and dreams.