Communicating effectively with your team is one of the most basic, but often the most difficult role of a business owner. This can be a dilemma because each employee is different, and each person has a different preferred method of communication.
One employee could be free with their thoughts and very outspoken, while another one may be an introvert and hesitant to speak up. However, to build a successful business, you need to make the most of your communication with customers, employees, and managers.
When it comes to employees, whether you’re having a private conversation, chairing a meeting, or giving a presentation, it’s essential to communicate effectively to engage the listeners and have a great impact. Here are seven tips that can help you connect better with each employee.
1. Do Listen and Don’t Just Speak
Sometimes leaders let their position get into their head and they may think they’re the only people with an opinion. However, to succeed as a leader, you have to realize that the workplace is about your whole team, not just you.
Always respect each employee’s ideas and actively listen. Don’t just wait for them to stop talking; instead really try to understand their point of view. This can be especially hard to achieve when speaking over the phone because of the lack of visual cues. Be patient and listen keenly; this will help you succeed.
With this in mind, you’ll realize that listening to your team is as important as speaking to them. Once employees feel valued and heard, it will boost their morale.
2. Do Check In Regularly
As a business owner, it’s sometimes difficult to balance between being an involved leader and a micromanager. But if you want to grow and become a better leader, you’ll find your way and you’ll know the difference between checking in with your employees and hovering over their shoulders.
Connecting with your team periodically is wise because it shows you trust them to get on with things.
3. Do Have a Structure for Your Meetings
Having an agenda helps you and your team to stay on topic and focused. Every agenda item should a clear owner who will lead the conversation, and ensuing action steps should have clear owners too.
Also, it’s respectful of your team’s workload to structure meetings that promote accountability, efficiency, and responsibility.
4. Do Be Responsive
To be a successful business owner, consider your team to be your customer. You want your sales team to respond immediately to customer requests, right? Do the same to your team.
Always respond to your staff’s queries and requests. Answer phone calls and emails. Doing this will make the employees feel valued and appreciated and it will boost their morale and productivity.
5. Don’t Focus on the Negative
No one likes a pessimist – whether it’s another colleague, their friend, or their boss. Remember, as the boss you’re setting the tone for the company culture.
If you want to build a positive, productive, and efficient workplace, you need to lead by example. And if things don’t go your way, try not to show anger as this is likely to just discourage your team. Establish what needs to be improved and keep your team motivated by being supportive and positive.
6. Don’t Jump to Conclusions without Facts
Consider an example where a business owner screams at one of their employees who has missed an important deadline. After he has calmed down, the employee said, “I have just come from the hospital because my father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.”
So before you jump to any conclusions, check your facts.
7. Don’t Send Mixed Signals
Sending mixed signals will leave your team confused and they won’t know where you stand. Keep your message simple, because too many messages and initiatives confuse and alienate employees.
Make sure your message is clear and free of unnecessary jargon, because using jargon can muddy things and confuse your team; this in turn affects your bottom line. Always make sure employees understand what you say and what you expect from them.
Ask for feedback, offer clarity and encourage questions. Sometimes, projects fail because we send mixed signals and our expectations aren’t clear. To avoid this, clearly articulate the project’s vision and success criteria to your team. Communicate your vision and expectations to each member of your team and stakeholder early on.
Effective communication is crucial to the success and management of every business. Implementing the above do’s and don’ts will make sure that crucial information gets to the right people at the right time, helping you resolve conflicts, strengthen your team’s relationship dynamics, and ultimately leading to the success of your business.