Miscommunication and ruffled feathers are uncomfortable situations that are unavoidable in every workplace. However, tiny steps can be implemented to create a change. Here’s how:
Ever had to explain a complicated process to each new hire repeatedly? It’s not only time consuming, it also causes communication breakdowns. Topics such as standard operating or logistical procedures can be overwhelming to explain verbally as they are technical and more often than not, non-linear.
Build comfort in expressing honest feedback
Communication cannot merely be bottom up or top down. Communication in the workplace must always be a two-way street. Building empathy towards fellow co-workers is highly important. Implement a buddy system for new hires with more experienced employees to build camaraderie.
However, bringing up honest feedback to bosses can be very intimidating. Bosses need feedback to improve their work performance as well. Without trust, there will be no honest feedback. That would compromise the company’s performance.
Use these three tips to give constructive feedback amicably:
First of all, wait for an invitation of feedback from your superiors. Ideally, they would ask for your feedback and opinion. However, that might not always be the case.
In that scenario, approach with tact and a gentle opening of “Would it be helpful if we…..”.
If in doubt, hold your tongue and search for opportunities to give anonymous feedback. At least you can trust that your voice will be heard without a severe backlash.
Schedule communication oriented meetings
Have you ever been to a meeting without an agenda? Frustrating wasn’t it? It was not only intimidating, but it wasted a lot of time in settling the arguments logically.
To build an effective meeting with good communication practices, the facilitator must send out the agenda to all attendees in a written format. This decreases uncertainty and all attendees can be prepared for the topics on hand.
Secondly, the ground rules for the meetings should be stated in the memo for the agenda and be reiterated at the start of the meeting.
Thirdly, if the meeting time needs to be shifted or extended, ask for permission! It conveys respect for everyone’s time and they can reschedule any other meetings to accommodate this change if needed.
During the meeting, always deal with the most important topics on the agenda. Be clear, concise and direct. This makes expectations clear for all. Keep in mind the verbal and non-verbal cues of speakers and the audience. These would give you clues on how everyone is affected by the topic at hand.
If a conflict arises, take a deep breath and control your reactions. Take a step back and respond accordingly. There will be a grain of truth to each side, thus, encourage research into each other’s points of views.
As the meeting draws to a close, delegate tasks to everyone- yes, even to the new employees! This provides an opportunity for the company to work together, have a sense of responsibility and hold each other accountable.
Your good old Please and Thank Yous are highly crucial!
Appreciation is one of the best motivators. Taking time out of your busy schedule to appreciate another shows empathy and that they are valued.
Other ways of showing appreciation and gratitude towards your employees and co-workers are:
- Giving them extra time off work
- A company platform to express their gratitude towards each other
- Let them tell you how they would like to be appreciated via a number of choices
- Be specific with praise so that they know where they excel or that their efforts were noticed.
- Give them small surprises such as an appreciation lunch. We all can agree that one way to someone’s heart is through their stomach!
Keep It Short and Simple!
Sometimes, miscommunication can stem from overwhelming details.
Imagine this scenario.
You receive an incredibly long email that rambles.
I have just had a meeting with ABX Company on using our system for logistics. They were very impressed by our system that ……
No one wants to read that! Avoid the mistake of wasting someone’s time by keeping your messages clear, concise and direct. Allow both the sender and receiver to clarify any doubt within seconds.
We all want to start our day right. The comforting aroma of coffee that lingers within our mind at 8.30am is pretty much what we can rely on for some solace before approaching the uncertainty of the workplace. However, if we can nip unpleasant habits in the culture of your workplace, perhaps the smile of your receptionist can put a spring in your step!