Blogs4 Steps to Clearer Communication

September 23, 2016, by Ryan Miller

HR Leader Series for Employee Benefits ProfessionalsWe tend to take for granted our ability to communicate clearly, especially in the workplace. Our bias seems to be that because we can communicate effectively with friends, online, and socially, why not at work? Well… Observing HR professionals and members of various workplaces, we know how often that is simply not the case. HR teams have to establish quality, effective communication standards that can be applied company wide and feature a robust training program. There’s a plethora of resources available to help craft and encourage effective communication throughout and across working teams and employees, yet, you can use these simple steps below to foster a healthy communication environment in your workplace today.

  1. Be a Good Listener
    Listening is a skill that can always be fine-tuned. Being a good listener is more than just hearing what the other person has said, it is about being able to digest, analyze, and respond to the speaker. Listening can build respect and understanding between individuals which equals a healthy workplace.
  2. Be Respectful of Communication Styles
    Introverts, extroverts, email addicts, and the meeting shy represent just a fraction of the way people choose to communicate. Understanding that you have to approach each person on your team differently is essentially to building rapport and clear communication practices. Be patient and be straightforward.
  3. Use Team Building Activities to Strengthen Communication
    Teams need time to build relationships and recognize differentiating communication styles. Make sure you host team building activities fairly often. As a team, we try to meet outside of work at least once every three months and we put together training activities on a regular basis. As a result, our team sees fewer miscommunications or consequences due to lack of communication than other teams in the company.
  4. Have a Plan
    Sometimes we simply want to throw ideas around with colleagues and don’t put much thought into our approach, however, neglecting to have a plan for conversations wastes both your time and your audience’s time. Be sure you know what questions you need to answered and how you want to present your topic. The more clearly you present your topic, the greater the opportunity to discover something new or avoid sixteen additional conversations. 

Communication can be tricky, but the easiest way to start fostering an environment of clear, effective communication is to lead by example. Be consistent in your approach and encourage others to do the same. Good luck, and tell us your best strategies for effective office communication below!