Monthly Archives: June 2016

Tips for Improving Effective Team Communication

Effective communication is very crucial in the corporate world today, a prerequisite for success. It ensures that decisions are taken well, and with the consent of all those who are a part of it. The various communication styles don’t only improve the working environment, but it is observed that employees are more productive when communication is practiced. No team can give its best performance, if its members are not performing to the best of their capabilities. One of the main reason for not performing – improper communication. Optimum output is expected from each team, and this is possible only with effective communication in the workplace, between all the levels of hierarchy. Efficient communication will make sure that decisions are taken, taking into consideration view points of the entire team. This will make the decisions complete, and just too. A team which does not communicate effectively, will always experience low levels of employee motivation.

Effective Team Communication Skills

Learn How to Convey
To achieve effective communication, a lot depends on how you eradicate communication barriers, and speak precisely what you need to convey. Conveying what you want, and doing so rightly, holds the most significant key to efficient communication. The management, your team members and colleagues, need to understand exactly what is being said. Their perception of your words, should be how you wanted it to be. And to achieve this, you have to be ‘clear’ when you convey.

Don’t Talk, Speak!
Yet another skill would be learning how to speak. A person who just talks and doesn’t speak sense, is considered a person who doesn’t know, who is unaware. Such a person, cannot lead a team. The team members would never approach him/her when in doubt. Learn to be articulate, have expected answers. Speak with a motive. Hold discussions, and not speeches. A two-sided conversation is an absolute necessity for effective communication to exist.

Be Open to Change
Another important skill required for effective communication, is to be open to change, to alterations and modifications. If you come across as a person who doesn’t bother about the opinions and judgments of other people, no one is going to bother giving them to you. Listening to what other people have to say, and being receptive to change is a must. It is very important to consider and value every person’s opinion in your team.

Effective Team Communication Techniques

Be a Good Listener
Being a good listener is one of the best and most effective communication technique, one that always works. It is very important to listen to people – your colleagues, your juniors especially. Team members will come to you only if they know you are willing to listen. You will understand the importance of communication when you see the positive results it brings about.

Be Patient and Reasonable
Learn to be patient when you are dealing with a team. Let it be deadlines or targets, you cannot reach a conclusion based on assumption. People have issues, and for them to discuss these, they need to feel comfortable. After such discussions, you have rational conclusions at your disposal. Freedom of expression, is the most helpful communication technique. You also need to be reasonable. Every person needs to be tackled and dealt with, in a different way. Do it!

Polls for People

Poll: a questioning or canvassing of persons selected at random or by quota to obtain information or opinions to be analyzed. ~ Merriam Webster

One of the best things to do if you want effective communication in the office, is to hold polls for everything you can. Polls make the people feel that their opinions are taken into consideration and what they have to say matters. After these polls, it is also important to take decisions according to those polls. Proper action needs to be taken, after the polls come out with results.

Effective Team Communication Strategies

Group Meetings & Discussions
If you want to see some effective team communication activities, organize some group meetings and discussions where these can be developed. Meetings, discussions and similar platforms work best when you want to see some communication happening. In these meetings, get to know the team members as a first step, and then start discussing the points you need to. Breaking the ice initially is very important.

Suggestions Box
Having a small suggestions box in the office is one the best communication strategies that you can develop. Allow people to anonymously put in their suggestions. Keeping it anonymous will help people to be frank about what they feel. Secrecy is sometimes required to keep your dignity and this option will certainly help the cause. This strategy will surely help you go further in achieving the goal of effective communication.

Transparency & Combined Decisions
Transparency is of utmost importance in any team. Everyone in the team should have equal rights and duties, and this should be known to one and all. The basic idea of a team, is where a group of people work towards a common goal and this makes it important for everyone to know what is happening. Similarly, a combined decision will make sure that everyone is an equal part of what is decided.

Now that you know the list of communication skills, strategies and techniques required for effective team communication, inculcate them in your workplace soon. These are not only for workplace communication and offices, but can be developed in various teams such as sports teams and college project teams. Remember, ‘United We Stand, Divided We Fall’! Start communicating today.

Skillful Communication Tips

download-7Communication is a very crucial part of our lives, especially when it comes to relationships. In order for a relationship to run smoothly, there should be effective communication between both partners. By improving communication skills, you will be able to understand the feelings of the other person clearly and effectively. Understanding the importance will even help you prevent and overcome any misunderstanding between both partners.

Effective Communication Skills in Relationships

Listen Carefully
There are many things that we mess up just because we miss out on listening to what the other person actually wants to say. This can even happen in a relationship. When communicating with your partner, don’t just hear, but listen carefully. This will enable you to understand what the other person is saying and prepare for a response. While listening, do not interrupt the other person. If you do so, it would naturally show your disinterest in the matter.

Speak
Just like careful listening, speaking clearly is also a very significant point when it comes to good communication skills. What you speak has to be balanced with what you have heard. Do not overstate what you want to say and be clear. While speaking, it is always better to consider the other person’s point of view. Do not be rude or one-sided in your talk with your partner, and most importantly, do not criticize.

Understand Body Language
Body language is another essential aspect of good communication in relationships. If you want to reach greater depths in understanding each other, you also need to use body language in your communication. Along with just plain listening and speaking, you also have to include body language as a part of your communication. This includes eye movements, posture, and other facial expressions. Good body language can be used in order to show interest in the communication.

Use the ‘I’ Word Correctly
The ‘I’ word plays a very important role when it comes to clear communication in relationships. Using ‘I’ in your statements gives an impression that what is being said is your point of view, and the views can differ. Instead of using the statement ‘You make me frustrated’, it is a good option to say ‘I don’t like it when this happens’. This makes the conversation less accusatory and makes the other person feel that he is not being totally blamed.

Other Skills
You should communicate in a way that would create a kind of mutual understanding between both partners. The communication should essentially lead to a solution and not more complications in the conflict. In some cases, physical touch can even contribute to good understanding in both partners. For instance, just holding hands while talking can be of great help to pass on the message effectively.

It is also significant to accept that you are wrong if you really are. Learn to appreciate your partner to enhance the quality of your communication. Another good idea is to turn a complaint into a request by saying please and other such words. Instead of shouting ‘You never say goodbye!’, you can just say ‘Can you please say goodbye while going?’.

These are some effective communication skills in relationships that you need to develop. There are many other skills that you would develop over time after following these tips. Remember that being a good communicator with your partner will make the bond stronger.

Workplace Communication Skills

It is well-known that before you come to work, you have to leave your informal self back home. In the office, you’re an employee, someone who’s supposed to go about his work in a professional manner. There is a way to talk to your superiors, to your peers, and your subordinates. This mode of communication is known as workplace communication and is typically formal and to the point. Skills that qualify as laudable are –

  1. Courteousness: A person should always be courteous while speaking to anyone in the workplace, whether senior or junior. One should not speak disparagingly with juniors, while speaking in a laudatory way with seniors. Courteousness should be maintained in the workplace irrespective of rank.
  2. Precision: You’re not supposed to sit and chat in the workplace. Workplace communication facilitates necessity and should be completed as quickly as possible. It mostly consists of delegating tasks and reporting results. So keep it short.
  3. Language: One should never use any slang terms while at work. Business communication should be crisp and clear so that everyone understands what you’re saying. Slang terms bring in the eventuality of misunderstanding and also look unprofessional. So one should avoid using slang in office.
  4. Low Speaking Volume: One comes across so many loud-talkers. Perhaps they are naturally so or do so deliberately to drive some point across. But speaking loudly is disturbing to other people around you hence, a low speaking volume should be maintained.
  5. Clarity: It is also essential to ensure that the person you are speaking with has completely understood what you have to say. Hence, one should speak very slowly and clearly. If you have a strong ethnic accent, you should make sure that you talk slowly so that the other person gets what you have to say. It is always good to ask, “have you understood?” just in case someone doesn’t get what you have to say.
  6. Listen to Others: Most people think of effective communication as a one-way thing. But it is very important to also be a good listener and not just a good talker. Others too often have something to say or to contribute to a discussion hence, listening too, is one of the effective communication skills at work.
  7. Posture and Body Language: They say actions speak louder than words and the same can be considered to be true at the workplace. The body has a language of its own too, and at the workplace, the body ought to be courteous. There are simple things to keep in mind, whether it is wishing everyone ‘good morning’ at work, or having a courteous smile on your face, being well-dressed in office, or sitting erect when someone is talking to you.

Written Communication

Modern methods allow the least use of the written mode of communication (less than before). Today, we use emails, service forms, report sheets, and the occasional sticky note. Your skills should extend to this area as well. Do not drone on about things in your emails. In fact, an email is the perfect excuse to make it short, simple, quick, and effective. While filling reports on any projects or for employee appraisals, keep the language clean and simple. It reflects on as you as someone who is hardworking and prompt.

If one understands the significance or importance of something, then I feel that they do that thing better. So instead of just dishing out all the important communication skills, I feel it is equally important for people to understand, what is the big deal about it! It is important to be formal and cordial in the workplace for several reasons. Firstly, you are viewed by everyone in the office as someone who has a positive influence in the workplace. Such people are always desired by companies. Secondly, you learn to get your point across effectively and ensure that the work is done the way it should be. And thirdly, (I’m being a bit informal here) it makes you look like a team player and makes you more loved by the company overall!

So this was all about the communication skills and their importance. Now you know how to communicate effectively in the workplace and why. So get on with the job!

Smart and Handy Tips on How Oral Communication

Scientifically, effective communication is described as a two-way process where the information or idea expressed by the speaker is well received by the listener. However, we often find that people mumble and jumble when it comes to conversation. One of the major reasons for this is because of the difference in written and spoken language. Secondly, if that language is not our mother tongue, we have difficulty in speaking in it, due to lack of confidence. If you too are stuck in a similar situation, then here is a guide to it which will be helpful to you.

Ways to Improve Oral Communication

One of the basic principles you need to keep in mind is, the more you are into the language, more proficient you will be in it. Reading, listening, speaking it all the time is the best way in learning the language fluently and improving your communication skills. Now, if you are fluent in writing the language, try to gain confidence for speaking it. Here are a few simple yet most efficient rules that will help you know how to improve oral communication skills in English.

Read

Reading is undoubtedly the best way of improving your vocabulary, and keeping in touch with the language. Reading aloud will help in improving accent and pronunciation of words. Talking of accent, you should remember to develop and use only one accent and not mix up. For e.g., learn the British or American accent and always speak in the similar one. Secondly, if you come across new words and phrases, look for their meanings and usage in a sentence. Now memorize these words and try to use them while speaking. This will not only make your language rich, but will also create a good impression on the listeners.

Listen

You need to listen to native speakers in order to improve your pronunciation and accent. If English is not your mother tongue, you should try to listen to the way English speakers speak. You can even watch English language movies, or listen to songs (without the captions) and try to follow it. Mark the different words and try to pronounce them like the native speakers pronounce. Write down the sentences and try to speak them just like you hear them. There are also several voice and accent software available in the market which can be useful.

Speak

Now lastly, the most important method is to actually speak. Try to find a native speaker with whom you can practice. Try to communicate in English with the person, even if you make grammatical errors. Do not hesitate if the person points out your faults; you should remember that practice makes a man perfect. Conversing on a daily basis will also improve your confidence. If speaking with a native speaker is not possible, you can form groups with people trying to improve their oral communication, take a topic and speak on it. Doing this every day will boost your confidence and also enrich your language skills.

Tips to Improve Communication Skills

Apart from the above mentioned methods, following are some tips to improve your communication skills:

  • You should speak loudly and clearly. Talking very slowly and in an inaudible voice is the biggest hindrance in communication.
  • Talking hurriedly, covering your mouth while speaking, and talking in non-understandable accent leads to failed communication.
  • The intonation and tempo of your speech is also important. Try to raise or lower your voice when emphasizing some word.
  • It is wise to have your speech short and concise. Beating around the bush will lead to failed communication.
  • In order to have a free flow of communication, you need to make use of different words. However, it is perfectly normal to use simple words to convey your thought or idea to the listener. You do not always need to use rich and extensive vocabulary.
  • Lastly, another important tip is to use proper body language and facial gestures. Using hands, and nodding the head also helps in transmitting a lot of information.

Following these simple methods will surely boost your confidence and help you to converse effortlessly. So, motivate yourself and get going, you will definitely succeed! Good luck!