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Opening The Barriers Of Communication Sharing In Your Business

Communication Sharing In Business

For any team that has to work together frequently, to share resources, information, and ideas, it is vital that the business is, to some degree, built around this principle. However, there are a lot of ways that modern businesses can find themselves relying on methods that are more likely to stifle communication than to foster and nurture it. As such, here, we’re going to look at a few of the barriers that might be between your team members, and what you can do to remove them.

Make sure you get the ball rolling

One of the biggest recurring communication issues in business is that team members simply are not getting enough information from the top of the food chain. When you’re setting an objective, goal, or direction for your team, you have to make sure that you have to provide consistent and clear information on the nature of those goals. A lot of leaders and managers have a habit of setting a nebulous agenda that could potentially be misinterpreted by the team, which can lead to confusion on what the goals are and how to meet them. Learn how to set better goals and you will see better understanding from your team.

Stop having unproductive meetings

As the boss, owner, manager, or leader, you like to be able to touch base with your team, to check in on how everyone is doing, and to make sure that everyone is working in the right direction. Meetings can allow you to do that. They can also suck the motivation to work right out of your team if you’re not careful. Make sure that you avoid bad meetings by planning them out in advance. Is the meeting really necessary or could it be an email or even a one-on-one conversation? What is its purpose? Who is really vital to the discussion? Can you have it in a way that keeps people more engaged? Try to ask these questions before setting any meetings on your calendar.

Mastering the face-to-face

While, indeed, there can be meetings that can drag on too long, bring people into conversations irrelevant to them, or simply drain the productivity of those who have to listen to them, there are valuable conversations well worth having, as well. However, of those conversations, it is often worth being able to have them face-to-face. Remote working operations and flexible working, in general, can make it less feasible to get people in the same place, but one of the technological advancements that have changed communication for the better is video calling. Equipping your team with video calling capabilities can make it much easier to have those conversations that need to be hashed out face-to-face

Stop using PDFs

Stop using PDFs

Once upon a time, PDFs were an excellent way to share text and visuals combined, such as sharing digital versions of pamphlet designs and the like. Indeed, when it comes to printing out documents with lots of graphics, the format can still offer a lot of advantages. However, when it comes to sharing documents between teammates, it can be more of a hassle than anything. They’re difficult to edit, hard to tweak, foster little communication, and trying to extra data or text can be nightmarish. When you have a PDF, if you’re looking to share it with the team, use PDF extraction tools to convert it into something more practical, instead. Get used to extracting any PDFs you rely on internally to save a lot of time.

Ensure you have the right lines of communication

There are many different ways to open communication in a business environment. It might be through an email, leaving a voicemail, calling, texting, sending a DM, or otherwise. However, different people have different habits and preferences as to which communication channels they are more likely to use. As such, you should ensure that you’re working out which communication channels work best across the board, and ensuring that your team uniformly relies on them so that they’re less likely to miss messages. There are purpose-built team communication apps that can bring in a lot of the different formats into one workspace so that it’s much easier for your team to communicate in whatever way they prefer, but to ensure that they’re always going through the right channels.

Set guidelines for outward-facing communication

How your team communicates inside the business is one thing, but when you’re talking about how you interface with clients and customers, then the stakes become even higher. Poor communication and errors can lead to dissatisfaction, which can lead to losing revenue. To that end, make sure that you are teaching your team the appropriate customer service techniques and training them in how to communicate effectively, politely, and helpfully. If you need to put together scripts for different customer interactions, then so be it. It can certainly make things a lot easier on the team that has to actually carry out those conversations.

Keep your team engaged

Keep your team engaged

Aside from the very real practical barriers that can make communication harder for your team, there are also emotional and mental barriers that need to be addressed. One such barrier is that of engagement. If a team member is not feeling engaged in their work, then they are a lot more likely to have some form of miscommunication. This might mean not paying enough attention to information sent their way, or failing to respond in a helpful manner. There are a lot of ways you can address engagement problems in your team. If it’s a problem affecting one person, then the solution is likely to be personal. However, if you’re seeing a drop off in engagement across the board, then your solution needs to be more widespread and systemic, instead.

Not branding your communication

If you’re a much smaller business, then you might not need to ensure that everything fits one branded look. However, the bigger your team is, the more important it can be to foster that sense of brand identity. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as making sure that you have the appropriate branded signature on your emails, for instance. For tools that you’re using, internally, to communicate, unifying the look and brand of the different tools your team uses can assure them that they are using authorized tools, rather than going outside of the standard business procedures to third-party options.

Working across cultural gaps

If you’re going to be expanding your business overseas, or you simply have a large international workforce, whether due to remote working or otherwise, then you need to understand that there are going to be cultural gaps that you might have to be aware of. This means that certain members of your team might not be as likely to pick up on things like idioms and common joke phrasings, which can lead to a lot of misunderstanding. You can either assign team members to ensure that your communications and carried effectively and accurately across those cultural divides, or you can make sure that you’re communicating in a way that is more likely to be universally understood, which typically means communication literally most of the time.

Mind the language gap

Mind the language gap

Of course, the point above assumes that you are able to communicate with your team in a single language. When that isn’t the case, then you must be able to ensure that your message can be carried across fluently across different languages . Businesses are becoming more global, with even small businesses operating across borders and, as such, the demand for workers who are able to speak more than one language is skyrocketing. If you’re not able to speak the necessary second language yourself, then you will either need an employee to act as an interpreter to help ensure that you are understood, or to hire management that can act as an intermediary when necessary.

Generational gaps matter, too

It’s likely that your business is also going to develop some generational gaps. When you have Generation X colleagues working alongside millennials and people from Generation Z, and whatever generations might come further in the future, then it becomes more important to ensure that you’re able to recognize these gaps and work between them. Typically, generational gaps in communication involve not just the language they can use (which is usually not an issue and your team is more likely to default to neutral, professional language with some encouragement), it’s important to understand that they might have different preferences in the mediums they use to communicate. Again, having a unified communications platform can help them work it out to their own preferences while keeping communications consistent.

Consider the tips above, and see if any of the common communication mishaps sound familiar to your business. If so, you owe it to your team to help them find better ways to communicate. There are always new solutions rising in this space, so be sure to look beyond the tips here to find those that work best for you.

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