The importance of communication in the workplace becomes more apparent as your business grows. As more staff are added to the team it becomes to keep everybody in the loop which means you need to start making a more conscious effort to maintain good communication.
'Poor communication' is often cited as a problem by employees whenever business coaches or other external parties begin talking to people within a business to find out what's really going on.
It is mentioned so often that it would be easy to dismiss it as vague and unimportant but 'poor communication' really does hamper businesses.
So while the importance of communication may be obvious to a businesses success, it can be easily overlooked and neglected when things get busy.
There are several different aspects to good communication that we've roughly categorized as follows:
Business Coaching Insight:
If you don't communicate and tell your staff what's going on in the business, they will fill the void with speculation and gossip
1. Frequency - how often do you communicate?
If the flow of communication in your business seizes up for any reason, it won't be long before problems start to rise up.
As your team expands the importance of communication becomes even more apparent. There will be a greater need to formalize communication with regular meetings to keep everybody up to date with changes and actions.
It's also vitally important to keep informal communication flowing so make sure there are plenty of team social opportunities.
2. Inclusiveness - who do you include in your communication?
Secret meetings behind closed doors are sometimes necessary but if they become the norm in your business, instead of open inclusive communication, it will provoke negativity in the form of gossip and speculation.
In any business you have to assume that people talk, but in a small business where the whole team works closely together, this is especially the case.
So if you're not talking to them they will be talking amongst themselves.
3. Openness - how open are you to hearing about issues?
You cannot expect to know everything that goes on in your business so you are reliant upon your employees telling you when things are going wrong or when issues are preventing them being productive.
If you react negatively when problems are aired it is likely that you'll cause people to hide or avoid telling you about them.
It is obviously really important to create a culture where people feel comfortable raising issues so you can address them. Ignorance may be bliss, but in business, it can be extremely damaging.
4. Quality - how well do you confront and communicate about real issues?
You and your staff may talk a lot but are you really talking about what matters most and are you confronting issues directly?
Problems need to be aired. Mistakes need to be discussed and learned from. Under-performances by team members need to be confronted.
Having 'real' conversations can be hard, especially if you feel vulnerable to criticism yourself, but it is essential to a thriving business.
Good communication skills can be learned just like any other skill and will significantly improve your ability as a leader
Staff meetings are an important channel of communication in your business.
These three points are important to know and understand before trying to improve your communication skills.
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