By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars
One of the greatest causes of headaches and mishaps in any relationship—business or personal—is lack of good communication. Mixed signals, jargon, ambiguous phrases, and two-thumb typing can make it difficult to develop meaningful dialogue. When your business is spread across multiple states and countries, communication has to be clear or the company’s morale and service level can sink.
People may not always agree, but to have a productive conversation, everyone has to listen. That means less talking and a lot more paying attention. When employees feel like they have room to speak, they’re more apt to share helpful thoughts and ideas. Listening creates a constructive environment that benefits everyone.
Choose the best means to talk.
Texting can be convenient, but it doesn’t always get the job done. Whenever possible, TSP encourages employees to meet face to face for important meetings. When we can see and hear one another clearly, everything gets a lot easier. Phones and email are great, but talking face to face, even if it’s via video chat, often ends up being more productive. Fewer messages lost in translation equal more productivity and less frustration.
If five hundred people reported to one manager, there would be total chaos. Breaking up into teams is logical and more manageable for both employees and leadership, and it also helps communication channels stay clear and meaningful. You’re more likely to share an idea with your immediate boss than with the CEO, and when teams are organized, communication has a defined flow that makes information easier to sort and digest.
Encourage information networks.
Message boards, social media, and other internal communication platforms are a great way to share information and preserve it for later generations of new employees. It’s easier for employees to run projects when they can post and reference updates and important topics on one clean page instead of being bombarded with plagues of email. Having a solid virtual venue to share information encourages better dialogue and creates reference-ready records for anyone who has the same question later.
Put jargon in the junk folder.
Sometimes jargon is a natural and necessary series of shortcuts in any specialized industry, but there’s a difference between helpful insider terms and words that just clutter a conversation. Some corporate cultures adore jargon, but fluff words end up frustrating people. Rather than encourage jargon, we encourage people to say what they mean. And then we try to listen!