Effective Communication

At the root of any business or team is communication. Staying on the same page as each other and working towards a common goal can become more complex with a lack of communication.

The first key to effective communication is honesty. Being honest with all your team members and creating an environment where the truth is valued is important. An open and honest line of communication ensures that people are on the same page and helps builds trust. 

The second key is to outline your expectations ahead of time. When a new team member is hired, it is important to tell them what they can expect from you and in turn, what you expect from them. Having expectations outlined early can prevent issues from arising later. 

Third: It is important to communicate in a timely fashion. When communicating internally, you don’t want to keep a colleague waiting. Two business days is the longest you should keep someone waiting. Responding quickly ensures that the team can keep moving forward with accurate information.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know something. The great thing about working with a team is that there are many different perspectives about one topic. It’s possible that you just might learn something from a co-worker. Having the courage to speak up when you seem stuck is the perfect time to connect and engage. Talk with your colleagues and let them know what you need. Be clear when you need help. 

Participate and be engaged. When you dive in and engage yourself in a project, that is illustrating your passion for it. It also communicates to your co-workers that you care and are not interested in just sitting on the sidelines or letting anyone else pull your weight. 

Give positive regard while communicating. Most people will respond to genuine positive regard. Think of complementary things you can say to your colleagues. For example: Make it known that you actually read their 2 page report and tell them why you thought it was powerful and useful. 

Here’s a short list as a reminder: 

  1. Be honest. 

  2. Write out expectations.

  3. Communicate in a timely fashion.

  4. Ask questions. 

  5. Participate and engage. 

  6. Positive regard. 

Communication is the key to any successful endeavor. If you follow these 6 tips as a guide, I assure you will thrive in anything you do.

Lisa Schneiderman is a UO member who helps people raise awareness for causes and positive messages that uplift humanity to a higher state of being.


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