It may appear as though your company is running nicely, projects are being completed, and revenue is steady, but you could be missing one very important aspect of a healthy work environment: effective communication.
Although a company's employees may be following leadership’s direction and doing what is asked of them, it does not mean that a working environment exists that fosters enjoyable productivity – nor that the company is communicating effectively.
Virtually everyone has a leadership role within a company—whether you’re leading a meeting, a team, or an entire division. Being a truly great leader means that you must be able to communicate with other employees while building relationships and company morale. Simply pointing out mistakes, assigning tasks, and barking orders does not mean that you are actually communicating. This negative example of communication will then lead to angry employees and a miserable work environment.
Luckily, there are ways to improve your communication skills if you are lacking in this area.
- Pay attention to nonverbal communication as much as you do to verbal.– A majority of what someone is saying is not actually communicated with words. It is communicated through facial expressions and body language. Studies have actually proven that up to 55% of communication is actually done through body language. When working on becoming a better communicator, you should make sure to pay special attention to these nonverbal cues in others while also being aware of your own. Try not to cross your arms while speaking and always make eye contact with others.
- Work on listening more instead of talking.– If you are always talking, you will never be able to listen to what others have to say. One of the absolute best ways to improve and encourage open communication in the office is by actively listening so that your people know they are truly being heard. Then, they will not hesitate reaching out to you with ideas, concerns, or issues in the office. To actively listen, you must focus on what the other person is saying instead of planning what you are going to say next in your head, and then asking follow-up questions after your conversation partner is finished speaking.
- Record yourself to see how you actually communicate.– This may seem silly, but try videotaping a meeting or presentation to be able to really see how you communicate with other employees. This will allow you to watch your own body language, assess how you answer questions or offer explanations, and to identify any issues that you should correct. You should also pay careful attention to how you answered any questions and how you gave instructions.
- Consider a training program.– One of the most effective methods of improving your communication skills is through a training program. At Communispond, we designed our Coaching Communication Skills™to help managers develop their interpersonal communication skills and to provide a framework for holding effective performance and workplace conversations.
Are you ready to improve yourself as a communicator and leader? Learn more about our training programhere!