Communication problems are something that all teams, no matter how large or small, have to deal with from time to time. It can sometimes feel impossible to keep in sync with a variety of personalities and their various schedules, tools, projects, and tasks. Simple changes to your team’s and individual behavior can not only improve your productivity but also increase your willingness to share your knowledge at the right times.
We humans have a natural desire to interact and communicate with others. Some people wait to find the right time, while others are able to communicate at the most inopportune moments. You want your team to have the best times to communicate, share ideas, and get important updates. These tips can be adapted to your own purposes and used to help you get in touch.
1. Don’t (ab)use email
Do you remember the days of office memos in the good old days? It’s unlikely, as that was a long time ago. In those days, you could not get an instant email response. You had to read the memo, and then follow up with a phone conversation or one-on-one meeting. These days were great in some ways. Memos required a deliberate interaction to initiate a conversation, share ideas, or resolve a problem.
Today, we abuse email by sending meaningless, short responses to messages that were 16 replies earlier in a thread. I’m sure you’ve experienced the “unsubscribe” email. It’s easy to see email communications go south quickly. People can lose interest and become frustrated. They may also delete messages without understanding the message. You may need to reevaluate how you use email if you find yourself arguing over important points via email. Why? Because email conversations can be long, difficult to read, and difficult to follow when you’re too busy.
You can either set rules or just stop using email at all. A communication tool can be used to archive and catalogue conversations. These tools allow you to easily view online conversations visually. You can also schedule a meeting once a week to discuss all announcements, updates, and discussions.
2. Conduct smart meetings
To keep things moving forward at work, many people and projects need to be discussed. To keep things moving, you should encourage these conversations. Be careful, dear manager, there will be people who abuse your Can I run it by you? Meeting request. It can happen in several ways:
They interrupt their coworker while they’re doing something else. This is a great way to be really productive
They plan meetings and include too many people (or not the right people)
They schedule meetings that last longer than necessary for the discussion.
They don’t waste time or create meeting agendas.
You can save your team hours of wasted time by creating a simple list for meeting guidelines. By establishing a rule that all unscheduled meetings must be held standing up in a common area, you can reduce the time wasted on these “got a moment” meetings. This will prevent participants from becoming too comfortable and wasting their time. You can also make it a rule that only your weekly scheduled meetings take place in a conference room.
Every organization has a different meeting culture, so you will need to use your best judgement when establishing guidelines for your team. It doesn’t matter what guidelines you use, the best thing to do is to tell your team that you are most interested in giving them time and space to explore ideas together. However, it’s important to share ideas with the entire group. You should ensure that only one person is responsible for recording the meeting results.
3. Encourage real-time information sharing
There are a few apps that can help you ensure your team stays in sync.
Say good-bye to the project plan controlled by one person.