Does your team have a communications problem?

 
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Communication once was simple. If you had to deliver a message, it was face-to-face, by letter, and eventually over the phone. As technology has changed, communication options have as well. As organizations have changed and grown to be large and often worldwide, communication has now become far from simple.

Within business organizations, communication is key. Having your team on the same page directly impacts reaching goals. A minor problem with planning or delivery can create major inefficiencies. In today's environment, it is imperative to understand the most effective way to deliver your message.

Let's walk through 3 simple steps to get your team on the right track :

1. Ownership

It starts at the top. If team leaders don't commit to the effort, communication will instantly breakdown throughout your organization. Leaders need to have a clear picture of what they want to communicate, who they want to communicate to, the action recipients should take, and when they should take said actions. Once these are defined, agreed upon, and committed to by the leadership team, you are ready to plan the messaging.

2. Planning

This step may seem obvious. Especially when your organization may consist of sub-teams and/or is spread across multiple locations. However, many teams fail to fully plan messaging. It often isn't as simple as sending the same message to everyone who needs to receive it. Remember step 1; and the action that needs to be taken. Unless your communication requires everyone to do the same thing (say a dress code), your messaging will likely need to be broken down by group/individual and be worded specifically to them. The same end goal could require different actions at different times from different team members. You can see how this can begin to get messy. For every desired end result, you need to plan out all the steps/actions to get there.

3. Delivery

If communication wasn't already difficult enough, now with advancements in technology, picking your channel for delivery can greatly impact your result. From one-on-ones to group meetings, mass emails, conference calls, video, or even organizational social networks; the options for getting your message out are vast. How do you choose which to use? Think back to step 2 and your planning. Think about what you want the recipient to get out of your messaging. Let's run through a few examples:

  • If you want to update your team (no action needed), a conference call, video, or social post may drive greater team engagement than another bland email.

  • If you want a specific action taken, a conference call, video, or social post might not be the best option. Without the direction written out in front of them, team members may not understand what exactly needs to be done (aka the action). In this case a one-on-one or well detailed personalized email could make the request crystal clear.

You should begin to see the thought process. Choosing the right communication channel will increase the likelihood of a successful end result. Simply put, pick the channel that makes your message the clearest.

The three steps above are certainly not the whole story when it comes to your communications. Thinking about ownership, planning, and delivery, will help you identify potential communications problems and allow you to mitigate them before it is too late.

Does your organization have communication problems? Let's chat. We will get you on the right path and ensure you deliver for your team.