I hope you spent some time last week taking some steps towards letting go of the need to control and micro manage others.
This week we are going to focus on a characteristic that can be a little more difficult to define, yet extremely important, effective communication with staff.
The inability to effectively communicate ideas, concepts, and expectations is the basis for a number of issues including unmet timelines, failing to achieve goals or objectives, and lower productivity – all of which negatively impacts the organization. Additionally, lower morale, misinterpretation, confusion and resentment are all potential side effects of poor communication.
I would venture to say that most of us think we communicate clearly even when the evidence suggests otherwise. There are so many factors related to communication that it can be difficult to narrow the challenges down to a single issue.
That said, if we work at being effective in our delivery of a message, it is likely to improve and mitigate issues that might have occurred because of our failure to effectively communicate.
There are all sorts of tools and techniques for effective communication. I find that that one of the most impactful techniques includes asking the recipient to summarize and respond to you with what they heard you say while you engage in active listening as they do so.
If you, as a leader, are demonstrating to others the importance of effective communication, they will embrace and mimic your behavior.
While in many ways our dependence upon email has allowed us to enhance productivity it can also impair communication.
It is important that we display patience and openness as we allow others to ask for further clarification when they do not understand the message. It is easy to dismiss the importance of clear communication in our every day busy work environment.
Take a little extra time to really think about and develop the delivery of your message and you’ll see that you will often save time by avoiding issues related to non-effective communication down the road.
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