The way leaders communicate with team members has a direct impact on the work atmosphere and the overall environment of the workplace. It can determine whether employees are satisfied with their place of employment or whether they dread coming to work.
When business owners and team leaders do not communicate effectively, team members complain at online social network places like Facebook. This results in problems for everyone concerned. The need for online reputation management is drastically increased.
As a leader, you have a responsibility to communicate effectively with everyone at your business.
But effective communication can make a huge difference in the way people feel about working at a place.
Bait and Switch
In most cases, it really isn’t so much what you say, but rather, it is the way you go about saying it. For instance, it is always a good idea to begin a conversation with team members on an upbeat note. Tell them what is going well and what they are doing right before you begin talking about any improvements or changes you would like to see.
This is often referred to as ‘bait and switch.’ The ‘bait’ is the compliment and easy way you begin the conversation. This helps to get the team’s attention and enthusiasm for what you have to say. Then you can 'switch' to tell them about changes or improvements that are needed.
See the Positive
As a leader, it is important to convey a sense of positivity to your team members. You are an authority figure and a role model. As such, you should make an effort to be upbeat and to show team members that there truly is a positive side to everything – even when things don’t turn out as planned.
For instance, you can teach team members the usefulness of failed attempts at a goal. These are excellent learning opportunities.
Non-verbal Communication Is Important, Too
Consider the way you present yourself when communicating with team members. Everything from the clothes you wear to eye contact and your tone of voice is important.
The way you communicate with team members will determine the relationship you will build with them. In today’s society, most work environments function best when there is a great deal of respect between employers and employees. With that in mind, it is best to always communicate in a respectful manner.
United You Stand
As a team leader or business owner, you need to help unite the team members. When the team is gathered, you should be aware of any conflicts between members. Such issues should be resolved in a professional manner before they escalate and cause problems for the team and the business.
The team that works together has more success.
Conflicts and issues can be discussed with involved team members on a one-on-one level. This will give you a deeper understanding of the situation, and team members will appreciate the respect and care you show. In some cases, you may be able to act as a mediator.
Even if you cannot totally resolve the problem, there is a good chance you can find a way to make things easier for team members to deal with the situation. At the very least, the involved members will know their views have been heard and understood.
It’s Their Time, Too
Keep in mind that your team members have jobs to do – that is, jobs that don’t revolve around meetings and other administrative-type business. This means that as a leader, it is important to keep your communication with them on-topic. This allows you to make your point and lets them get back to what they were doing.
Avoid Technical Terms
You may be used to using technical jargon or slang that some of your team members aren’t familiar with. Rather than using those terms when speaking with them, it is probably best to stick with straightforward terms that don’t require explanations. This can speed things up during meetings and eliminate any confusion.
Create a Team Newsletter
A simple team newsletter can be used to communicate with team members effectively. Because the content is in print, it is a great way to double-check the things communicated to team members. The newsletter can be shared on a weekly or monthly basis.
The main focus in communicating with team members is to be direct but to also be respectful. Always keep in mind that you are expected to demonstrate leadership skills; this includes expectations about the way you communicate.
Give people your full attention when speaking to them, and expect the same in return. Be positive but know that business is serious. There are times when you have to leave joking aside.
If you have any tips or communication strategies that work for your team, please share them in the comments.
Author: Debbie Allen is an online marketer and professional content writer who enjoys sharing tips about reputation management, SEO, and other small business topics. She also writes about things like home decorating and DIY home remedies.