Updated: Apr 9
Communication is very complex. It involves tone of voice, body language, culture, background, age, mood, environment, and many more subtleties. So how do you help your teams get good at it?
You start in these 5 areas: General Communication Skills, Psychological Safety, Communication Styles, Emotional Intelligence, and Inclusion & Belonging. You really need each in order to have effective and productive communication. Each plays an important role in how well we communicate.
General Communication Skills
General Communication Skills are a good place to start. Teams should learn things like: active listening, taking turns, not interrupting, maintaining eye contact, etc. Recognizing and changing just a few behaviors goes a long way in terms of improving communication.
Psychological Safety is about creating a team environment where everyone feels safe enough to express their ideas, thoughts and opinions without fear of criticism. It has been found to be the most important factor for team performance. Teams with psychological safety are able to be more creative, take risks, resolve issues sooner, and avoid mistakes.
Communication Styles are about the different ways we communicate. Sometimes it is also referred to as personality styles. There are many different tests to measure your style like: DISC, Clifton Strengths Finder, Myers-Briggs, and others. Being able to know your style and other’s is helpful when crafting a message. Some people prefer short and sweet and others want all the details. Understanding these behaviors can help reduce frustration and friction in your teams.
Emotional Intelligence is about recognizing and interpreting your emotions and other’s. By doing so, you can stop yourself from saying something that might upset another person or damage your reputation. It is a very important communication skill that everyone should have.
Inclusion & Belonging
Lastly, but just as important, is Inclusion & Belonging. Each of your teammates need to feel like they are being included. It is easy to exclude someone without even knowing it. And inclusion is only half of it. You can be invited to the party and included in the food and games, but if you still don’t feel like you belong, communication and relationships will suffer.
Learning and understanding more about these 5 areas will help you and your teams communicate better.
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