Many of these blog posts have a communications theme to them. After all, communication is key to leadership and HR (among most other things in business and life!). As such, I felt that it would be appropriate to dedicate appropriate time and space to this topic. Many times – in both our personal and professional lives – communication, and the way we communicate, can make or break a situation. We can all think of times that we wished we had said something, whether verbally or in writing, in a different way. Not everyone is naturally a good communicator. That’s okay; but it is important to work at improving these skills. As a leader, solid communication skills will go a long way in building a good team. Take some time to reflect on a leader that you know who is a good communicator, and one whom is lacking in this area. As you compare, the differences between these leaders will likely be significant. First and foremost, be authentic in all of your communication. A few tips to keep in mind:
- Communicate often. It’s better to over communicate than it is to under communicate.
- Be open and transparent with communication. If someone needs to know something, ensure that they are aware. There is no sense in being secretive about things. Sure, not everyone needs to know everything, but withholding information from those who do need to know will likely end up backfiring.
- Even throughout your busy day or week, take time for informal communication with your team. For example, maybe you hold open “office hours” each Tuesday from 1:00pm – 3:00pm, whereby employees can stop by to chat about anything that is on their mind.
- Regardless of what you are communicating, do so in a calm way. Getting amped up about things will only lead to chaos within your team!
- Use multiple channels to communicate. Depending on what information you are communicating, you may want to do so via email, at a meeting, and through the company newsletter. Use the tools at your disposal to ensure that information is disseminated appropriately.
- Prioritize good communication in your organization. Start with your leaders, and ensure that staff are great communicators, too. While some roles require better communication skills than other roles, an emphasis should be put on both verbal and written communication skills during the recruitment/interview process. It’s more difficult to teach soft skills (such as communication) than it is to teach technical skills.
- Ensure that employees understand what communication tools should be used, and when. For example, maybe the internal chat tool is used for less formal communication – and where follow-up is not required – whereas email is used to communicate formal items and where follow-up may be required.
As communication is at the centre of customer service, there is a good chance that it will impact your bottom line, for better or worse. At the end of the day, much in life comes down to communication. Self-reflect and check in with others about your communication style – and always strive to get better. Ensure that everyone is held to a high standard as it relates to communication in your organization. In our next post, we’ll dig a bit deeper into both verbal and written communication.