As a leader, you have the authority to develop and enforce communication norms on your team. Strong communication can help to foster a positive organizational culture, foster employee trust, and break down silos amongst cross-functional teams. Here’s how it’s done:
Before you begin working on enhancing your team’s communication abilities, make sure there are no underlying issues that are preventing everyone from communicating openly. Is it possible for everyone to speak openly? Is there anything that could make a team member feel they can’t be their true selves?
Ensuring your staff feel comfortable coming to work as their entire selves is one of the most significant things you can do as a leader (or as much of themselves as they want to bring).
Whether it’s voicing differences, talking about their interests outside of work, or being open about what style of communication works best for them, make sure you understand each team member’s requirements and that they are satisfied in the team environment.
You may never receive feedback on your communication style if you do not ask for it. Even though workplace communication affects every other contact, team members may not instantly think of it as something to provide feedback on. By soliciting input from your staff on your communication style, you can continue to improve and build clear communication plans for your team.
Another excellent technique to interact with your team is asking them how they want to communicate. Communication preferences should not be a mystery — or a guessing game — and understanding right away whether your team members prefer video conferences or phone conversations, early morning meetings or afternoon jam sessions will help you establish an environment in which they can thrive.
Knowing how to interact with your team requires getting to know them. Making time to get to know your team outside of the workplace is especially crucial. Icebreaker questions may help add personality and excitement to any meeting, so start with a light conversation before digging into your meeting agenda.
Remember that how you communicate and collaborate affects your entire team. It is your responsibility to set the tone for open and straightforward communication in the workplace. Your team will follow suit if you set and promote this standard.
Make a note to check in every few months to see how everyone is feeling about team communication. Are there any habits that have emerged in the last several months that you would like to eliminate or encourage? Thinking about how your team interacts on a regular basis, rather than “setting and forgetting,” will help you be more intentional about your communication techniques.