Office Communication: 3 Key Tips to Make it Great
Can you hear me now?
Probably not, this is a blog post.
But maybe you’re reading it on your laptop? Desktop? Smart phone? Tablet? Did your well-intentioned coworker email it to you? Is your boss reading this out loud to you and the entire team—to everyone’s horror—on a video conference call? Did your grandmother print it out and mail it to you?
OK, definitely not the grandmother thing. But we digress…
There are probably too many ways to communicate these days. We have a plurality of devices, countless apps, and a lot of different personalities who prefer one over the other.
The good news is there’s still hope for great office communication. And no, it’s not a group text. Instead, it’s got a lot more to do with the following three concepts:
Transparency is a whole lot easier said than done. Transparency means being vulnerable, which can feel like taking a risk. But the real risk? Trying too hard to control the conversation.
Writing for the Salesforce blog, Kelsey Jones shares the prudent warning that while “Many managers say they have an open-door policy… if employees feel like they aren’t being heard, they will hesitate to speak up, especially when they think what they have to say may not be what their manager wants to hear.
When we get too scared to share, it tells others that there isn’t space to share either. In essence, it closes the door before you even try to open it.
Instead, Kelsey goes on to advise that open-door transparency happens when you teach managers “how to be better listeners, as well as how to focus on the solutions instead of who to blame for what went wrong.”
If there’s one thing we can’t stop talking about on this blog, it’s the importance of developing a teamwork mindset at your office.
Sales, as we all know, can be an isolating world. We’re taught to always be on the defensive, and treat even our coworkers with trepidation. And that’s exactly the kind of mindset that can make communication toxic.
When you develop a team-oriented framework for your office, you’re creating a space where people feel safe to share, and inspired to lift each other up—because at the end of the day, you’re all working toward the same goal. And the success of one means success for the whole team. And that’s a win everyone can get behind.
And when you develop that sort of culture in your office, you’ll find that employees will open up in a whole new way, and be excited to communicate efficiently and effectively.
OK, so it’s not exactly a “3-Ts” situation here, but we tried. And yes, we said overcommunication.
But let’s not mistake overcommunication with careless communication. Trying to improve office communication by throwing verbal spaghetti at the wall and hoping something sticks does little good for anyone—spaghetti and wall included.
For example: according to a study by The Radicati Group, experts estimate that we’ll be sending 249 billion emails every day by the end of next year. Two-hundred forty-nine billion. It’s safe to a say a few are going to go unread.
So in other words, overcommunication does not mean spamming your employees about that upcoming conference call. It means that you’re sending carefully targeted (there’s the third T!) messages to employees in ways that they’ll actually receive them.
At the end of the day, great office communication starts with great listening: when you understand what your employees want, and how they best interact, you’ll find it’s all too easy to get the conversation flowing.