The way in which communication takes place in the workplace is very important. It is more than just words. Learning the correct tone, voice, stance, language, and culture gives way to an effective method of sending and receiving messages accurately.
High-performance teams require effective communication.
Like any internal policy or procedure, good communication should not be thought of as automatic. It is a learned process, which takes time and understanding to accomplish. It also requires an ongoing commitment to “do” and even “be” the policy and procedures. Teams are made up of different individuals with very different styles of communication and great leaders understand that if you tap into these differences from a strength-based perspective it allows a team to come together in glorious high-performing harmony.
Focusing on getting communication right is a really strong and good strategic move. If a solid communication strategy is in place individuals know how to communicate effectively with each other and clients thus achieving goals and KPI’s. For over forty years, Forté has been helping teams adopt solid team communication strategies and have learned what habits make the difference between high-performance and just getting by.
Below are 10 of those really good habits to start adopting in your team.
1. Customize Communication
People communicate differently. Understanding the different styles that exist around the table is the key to effective communication within a team. In order to customize communication the knowledge of the different styles and how to communicate to the listener must first be obtained.
We can help with this.
With the Forté Communication System, we provide a Communication Style Profile. that details in-depth individual styles, mannerisms, preferences, motivators, demotivators, goals, adaption and perception. We then create a communication strategy based on harmonizing the differences. This allows each team member to understand exactly how to communicate based on individual style and preference.
2. Eye Contact
By keeping eye contact the person doing so and the conversation reflects sincerity, integrity, and comfort to the other person. Through this form of body language, it portrays focus and attention on the speaker.
A repercussion of eye contact is building trust. It tells the other person, “I am confident, self-assured, you can trust me and you are important”.
3. Actively Listen
This accompanies good eye contact. The habit of active listening is one of the most important principles of good team communication. When someone is talking, they must become the only focus. Do not start thinking about the next thing to say, instead just focus on what is being said. Take your time with a response if need be. It will indicate to the speaker an interest in the subject and also them. Accompany this with paraphrasing or repeating back what you have heard.
4. Provide Your Undivided Attention
When speaking to someone or vice versa, make sure that this is gaining full attention. Don’t check a phone or laptop, look at your watch or at other people. Give the respect of undivided attention. If this is not possible and you are busy, politely explain this and arrange a time when you will be able to be fully engaged in the conversation.
5. The Power of “I”
Start replacing “You” and “This” with “I” in your communication. This habit will have a significant impact and is best demonstrated with an example.
“This project is a failure, John. What have you been doing the entire time? Everything is a mess. You need to fix this ASAP!”
“I am very concerned about the sustainability of this project, John, let’s run through it all this afternoon as I can see there’s still a lot to be done.”
With this method, the communication becomes more productive as the speaker is avoiding stating their thoughts as facts and removes judgment and defensiveness from the recipient.
6. Let Others Finish
This is about training to develop the habit of waiting for the other person to finish. Do not jump in, interrupt and speak, instead wait for the pause. This indicates that the person has finished.
7. Body Language
The role that body language plays in communication is vital. For example, arms crossed over the chest can indicate that a person is being defensive while placing the tips of the fingers together is a demonstration of control and authority. For more on body language examples and habits that should be learned or forgotten, head over to Your Dictionary.com and their examples of body language page.
8. Avoid Sarcasm
What one person might find funny, another certainly does not. The definition of sarcasm is “the use of irony to mock or convey contempt” and such behavior really has no place in the workplace. It will only serve to build walls and destroy strong connections. Ensure that a team does not obtain this habit or if occurring, remove it very quickly.
9. Get Organized
This may seem like this is not connected to communication but rest assured that if implemented correctly, communication is going to flow so much easier. A good habit for a team is to spend an hour of the last working day of the week conducting a to-do list and the last half an hour of every working day reviewing. By listing what is needed and who you need to speak to in order for it to happen sets up a very good communication foundation. If you already have the Forté Communication System in your workplace, have your different team members undertake an Interaction Report and know how to conduct that conversation based on individual style.
10. Be Open to Reciprocal Feedback
Clear, constructive feedback should yield very positive results. The reason that individuals can take such offense to feedback is that it is not conducted on a regular basis or else the person giving the feedback is doing it in an incorrect manner. Feedback should be there to build up, never bring down. This should be explained at the beginning with any team member about the functionality and purpose behind the feedback session.
Again, if you have the Forté Communication system, your Forté Communication Coach will in-depth go through an i360 report which develops skills in effective communication and provides the entire team with feedback in quantitative and qualitative measures.
About Forté: The Forté Communication system is used by over 6 million people and 6 thousand companies to understand precisely how people communicate both internally and externally. It significantly enhances a team’s interpersonal relationships, moving them from a working group to a real team, achieving highly desirable synergy.