In today’s world there are seemingly endless avenues by which we can communicate. So it’s easy to understand why our focus and ability to keep up with each of these communication tools could become a struggle.
So how do you break through all the noise and ensure your team is both engaged and understands the project and/or tasks at hand? Here are a few tips I’ve found that are helpful to better ensure that you and your team are successful at communicating.
Ways To Break Through Communication Frustration
- Don’t Rely Solely on Communication Tools
While it may be easier to simply share information via one communication tool, the chances are that someone may miss that depending on the number of other channels your team uses to communicate with each other. When in doubt, follow up in another way to ensure communication was received.
- Be Direct and Concise
If you’re utilizing communication tools – it’s important to provide the necessary information without going too far in the weeds. If your message is getting too long and complicated, it’s likely things may be missed by the reader and an in-person meeting may have been a better plan of attack.
- Consider Your Audience
Whenever possible, tailor your communication to the person you are directing the message to. If someone is very detail focused, you may want to talk in person so they can ask any questions upfront and feel confident moving forward. On the other hand, if someone is a big picture thinker and really only needs to know the high level details, consider keeping the content brief so they don’t tune you out.
- Provide a Refresher
If you’ve had a formal in-person kickoff with the team, you likely covered a great deal of information, and it may be beneficial to follow up through another means of communication by sharing any notes and potential next steps that the team can refer back to throughout the project.
- Own It
If you’ve sent communication out to someone that required an answer and you haven’t heard a response, be diligent in following up or trying another avenue to reach that person in order to keep the project moving.
- Be Responsive
If someone has communicated with you and there is some next step or action that needs to be taken, understand that acknowledgement in some form is essential, otherwise the person on the other end of the communication channel may assume the message was not received and will likely continue to reach out about it.
- Be Consistent
It’s important to communicate any updates to the team. Sometimes it might feel like you’re overcommunicating, but the more consistent your communication is the more likely that the project will stay on track and maintain momentum. This will also enable the team to point out any potential issues as they arise and help avoid problems from occurring later on.
Communication is always going to be a two-way street and in order for all aspects of projects to run smoothly you need to find ways to ensure everyone is involved and engaged with your message. Every workplace is a little different so find what works best for your team and hopefully some of these tips come in handy along the way.