Communication skills provide the foundation a team needs to tackle challenges, resolve conflicts, and collaborate creatively in the face of the unexpected. Every worker needs to communicate with others at some point in their job, which means that these skills are essential regardless of the type of work being done.
Here are three communication skills to focus on this quarter and how to help your team practice them.
1. Make “clarity” your catchphrase.
To teach your team how to communicate clearly, start by setting the example. When you speak or write, avoid jargon and vague language. Instead, use simple language your team is familiar with. Be specific, and allow for pauses in conversation and time to think both for yourself and your team.
When team members share info, encourage clarity from them as well. Sometimes this will mean asking follow up questions. When you encourage team members to clarify what they mean and give them space to do so, they learn how to get their point across more effectively.
2. Get everyone on the same page.
Even the clearest message won’t do much good if no one knows where to find it. Use this quarter to determine the best conversation channels for your team and use them. Check in with team members to see whether they prefer email, text, in-person, or other forms of communication and why. Use what you learn to work out a communication plan with your team, so that everyone knows where to find information when they need it.
3. Encourage active listening.
Active listening is the act of being present while someone else is speaking, so that you can take the time to truly understand their message before reacting emotionally or crafting a response. It takes time to learn, but active listening is a crucial skill for effective communication.
Set expectations in meetings to discourage interrupting and encourage pauses after a person finishes speaking, so that everyone can think about what’s being said before they reply. Asking for clarification is another way to demonstrate that you’re paying attention and that what’s being said is important.
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Training is essential in order to provide needed skills and keep your team engaged. At Employment Professionals Canada, our recruiters help clients build teams, find great new talent, and meet their business goals. Contact us today to learn more.