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Effective Ways to Create Better Communication in the Office

In order to be a successful business, employees need to be able to communicate as a team. Rather than holding back their thoughts, fearing disagreement or engaging in frequent conflict, it's important to create an environment that is inclusive and feedback oriented. The more comfortable people are with one another, the more easily they'll be able to respectfully express their honest feelings, share ideas and work well together. These six tips will help you create healthier workplace relations and improve office dynamics by enriching effective ways to create better communication in the office.

Use Communication Tools

Communication tools help employees collaborate and communicate with each other. Google Hangouts, Slack, and Whereby are among some of the more popular communication tools that help get people up to speed and to communicate effectively. Face-to-face meetings and video chats are great, but they aren't the only way to connect with your workers. Make sure that team members are all on the same page and plugged into G-Suite, where they can easily share files with each other and collaborate on projects in real-time. You want to ensure that your tools unite rather than isolate different people. Even if they have vastly different roles, employees, especially in start-ups, need to feel like they're in the loop and working toward a shared goal.

Listen

Listening to other people isn't always as easy as it seems. How often have you been "listening" to someone speak at work while thinking about your own response? Foresight is important, but passive listening and side-tracked thoughts lead to misinterpretation and miscommunication. Practice active listening strategies like making eye contact, reflecting what someone has just said, and asking follow-up questions to make sure you get the full picture while prompting for deeper reasoning.

Team Building Activities

Host team-building activities and events that bring everyone together, regardless of their role. Whether it's brainstorming sessions, playing games or getting to know one another with conversation prompts, team-building activities for work unite employees. With increased connection comes improved communication, and a no-pressure activity gives people a chance to iron out the awkward kinks and learn the nuances of communicating with one another.

Hold Weekly Meetings

One-on-one meetings make a major difference in how someone feels about work. Employers should make sure they connect individually with their workers at least once a week. Doing so creates an opportunity for valuable feedback, and the connection you'll form with each worker will improve their own output. People want to work for someone they respect, not someone they fear. You can still be respected as a manager without keeping up a false persona. Professionals are still people, and you need to humanize yourself to your employees if you want them to be real with you. Avoid being overly formal in these types of catch-up sessions. They're designed to encourage authenticity and help people get to know each other beyond their job title and professional persona.

Create Opportunity for Expression

Rather than simply dishing out assignments, give employees a chance to express themselves with their work. For example, if you need someone to make a presentation for you, ask about their thoughts on its content and approach. You can also seek out employees who would enjoy giving presentations on their work and helping their employees catch up to speed. Consider personal strengths, weaknesses and areas of interest and delegate work accordingly. Everyone is bound to encounter tasks at work they're not passionate about, but a good leader doesn't force workers to do things they struggle at just because "it's their job." During meetings, ask people to talk about their current projects and what they'd enjoy working on in the future. You may be surprised by the answers and walk away with fantastic ideas you can explore together in the future.

Appreciate Different Communication Styles

Not everyone loves to have a heart-to-heart, and that's okay. Differences make teams dynamic, and they should all be celebrated. The goal isn't to make sure everyone expresses themselves in the same way but to instead promote an office environment that is receptive to each person's preferred style. The four types of communication styles to look out for in your workspace are passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive. Some of these things sound much worse than they are in reality. However, learning to read between the lines of what people say can encourage greater openness and help establish some healthy ground rules of communication.
Ask yourself the following questions when you're speaking to someone. What are their needs? How are they expressing their needs right now? What is their body language like? Do they seem alert and relaxed or tense and closed-off? With these tips, you can create an office that is open, expressive and rewarding.

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madaku: Effective Ways to Create Better Communication in the Office
Effective Ways to Create Better Communication in the Office
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