(By Bob Roberts. Bob is a certified business coach with Action COACH, he is based in Hartville, Ohio)
Communicating with Your Team
Have you ever heard people say things like, “Management never lets us know what’s going on,” “Our questions and concerns don’t get through to them” or “They just don’t care. They’re too busy looking out for themselves”? Unfortunately, this lack of communication is typical of the situation in too many organizations and can be solved by remembering this simple but powerful phrase:
"Communication is the response you get."
In other words, it's not what you say but how people respond to what you say that is important. It could be that you are the problem - not those on the receiving end...!
To avoid communication breakdowns, practice these communication principles:
THE RULES OF EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION
1. Develop trust – It’s not automatically given; it must be earned.
2. Openly communicate more than you have to or need to. Make it your top priority.
3. Be as specific as possible in the words or phrases you use.
4. Supply whatever background information and reasons people need to understand changes.
5. Be absolutely honest with all employees.
6. Actively share information and feelings. (Yes, people have feelings in the workplace too.)
7. Talk to employees as one adult to another (the way you would like a leader to talk to you.)
8. Always solicit ideas, suggestions and reactions from your team.
9. Follow through, always – no exceptions.
10. Recognize that the job of the leader is to remove roadblocks, irritants and frustrations, not to put them there.
Remember team members are important and want to be treated that way. They want to feel that they belong and that their work makes a difference. If they aren’t made to feel this way, they’ll work just hard enough to get by. Don’t let that happen to your company!