Communication is a crucial part of working as a team. Virtual teams are a new norm, with more workplaces shifting to remote or hybrid systems. Even so, good communication habits can improve your overall experience. By contrast, workflow or workplace breakdowns can occur when communication is problematic.
With a few good communication practices, your team can accomplish more and gain a sense of cohesion. According to Forbes, approximately “75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important,” and we think so too.
Let’s look at five great tips for communicating with your team!
Tip 1: Use Active Listening
Teams that use active listening have fewer misunderstandings. Avoid frustration and miscommunication by waiting until co-workers have finished speaking before responding. Once your colleague has wrapped up: paraphrase and ask clarifying questions to crystallize their points for you.
You can also be an active listener in written communications by reading closely.
Do more than pass your eyes over a co-worker’s message. Instead, slow down to thoroughly read the message and ask pertinent questions if you are uncertain of its meaning.
Tip 2: Create Trust
Establishing trust with your team improves communication. That said, you can foster a sense of group cohesion and rapport by practicing inclusion and honesty.
Relating to your team members and openly taking responsibility in times of error creates a reciprocal environment. It is easier to be open with co-workers when you feel trusted and understood.
For a bonus, carve out some fun time with your teammates. For instance, Workzone states that “conversation over coffee, work-related or not, promotes healthy communication among co-workers.” So, grab a coffee and chat with your team, or plan a fun, virtual, team-building activity!
Tip 3: Clarify Responsibilities
When each of your team members clearly understands their role and responsibilities, there’s less possibility of misunderstanding, missed deadlines or unnecessarily repeated tasks. Additionally, your team will know who can best address specific concerns or help them troubleshoot problems along the way.
This simple strategy keeps communication targeted at the right staff member and helps your team work to their best potential. Less time is spent guessing or fielding questions you don’t have the information to answer.
Tip 4: Invite Mindful Dialogue
Your team’s time is valuable. On that account, ensure your communication has a point and purpose — keep communication clear and efficient. It is better to send one concise message to a colleague than a few that are unclear. Also, keep in mind which channels work best for specific teammates or serve project tasks more effectively.
Meetings can adopt a mindful strategy also. Hold meetings when you have topics that would benefit from a round table discussion and group contribution. If virtual meetings are a new thing for your team, you might benefit from a training course like Jester’s Mastering the Art of Virtual Presentations and Meetings.
Tip 5: Consider Project Management Tools
Streamline your team communication, and keep your workflow on target with project management tools. Asana, Trello and Basecamp are among the top picks in 2022 by the team at Techradar. These tools are ideal for collaborative projects. Your team stays connected and updated on progress and issues that may interfere with deadlines. Plus, they offer many other features in a single place that simplifies team function and communication.
Most importantly, teams with good communication work better together. So, be open to new communication tools and practices and implement what works best for your team. Also, be sure to have a coffee together!