9 Effective communication strategies to connect better with your team

Effective Communication Strategies

Communication is one of the crucial factors that can either make or break a project. Don’t believe us, let us take a look at the following statistics and figures:

  • 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures
  • About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as very important
  • Less than half of survey respondents said that their organizations discuss issues truthfully and effectively

Working in a team requires much more than hard work, unity, and readiness to work alongside a bunch of people. The most important yet ignored thing that is responsible for a team’s success is effective communication.

I have compiled effective communication strategies that you need to use at workplace to connect better.

9 Effective communication strategies to use at the workplace

Peers and colleagues need to interact and communicate with one another from time to time. Good communication not only strengthens the bond among the members but also facilitates the overall process of information-sharing. Additionally, as communication is a vital part of our life outside work, it’s better to level up your communication skills and make it one of your key strengths.

Here’s a popular quote by John Powell that will motivate you to put effort into improving your communication skills:

 “Communication works for those who work at it.

Now, let us take a look at the strategies for effective communication that you and your teammates should follow to make interaction both fun and rewarding:

Effective communication strategies to use at the workplace

1. Encourage one-to-one communication

One-to-one communication is important to develop a bond and understand your teammates in a better way. When you talk to others on a personal level, you get to know more about them. You can read their body language and know about the communication methods that they are most comfortable with.

Additionally, when you need to share some confidential information with someone, you need to communicate one-on-one with someone who you trust. You can easily talk about matters in private, and get suggestions from a single person without involving other people on your team.

2. Let everyone speak in meetings

Yes, I agree that meetings may get boring and seem more like a formality. But this usually happens when a limited number of participants have the privilege of sharing what’s on their minds. With defined agendas, the involvement of only those who are directly related to the issues being discussed ensures productive utilization of time.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a team leader or a member, you need to express your thoughts openly during a meeting. It‘s the responsibility of the manager or the meeting organizer to ensure that every participant gets an equal chance to express what’s on their mind.

Moreover, participants need to listen carefully to what others have to say without interrupting them. This will not only make the meeting more open but also give a fair chance to everyone to hone their speaking and listening skills.

3. Make use of communication channels

Some people prefer talking face-to-face while others find it more effective to send text messages to convey messages. You may want to stick with your favorite communication channels but this isn’t going to make communication with others easy for you in the long run.

Just like you, everyone has their own set of preferred modes of communication. However, to convey your messages to everyone in your group without any friction, you need to make yourself comfortable with different modes of communication. You can get yourself one step closer to becoming a communication expert by making use of different channels for communicating with your team.

4. Use your body language to express humor

Body language enhances the message that you are about to deliver. Hand signals, gestures, and postures help you in expressing your emotions in a professional environment. Too serious conversations can put you and other participants in a negative state of mind. This will affect how you perceive the message and draw conclusions.

Moreover, when a communication session becomes too serious, everyone wants to leave it at the earliest and the flow of information gets hindered significantly.

Sometimes, you need to put across a message that is intense and it is not possible to avoid a stressful communication session.

In such a case, you should know how to lighten the mood of yourself as well as others. Include a good joke along with positive body language to do the trick. This helps everyone to relax and retain their interest in the matter being discussed.

5. Prepare yourself beforehand

Don’t take things too lightly and always ready yourself beforehand when you have to share some important information with your peers. You don’t want to skip any piece of detail while communicating the message with your team.

It’s always a good idea to note down all the important points that you want to communicate with your team. Also, you need to focus on presenting information interestingly and engagingly. It’s a good practice to customize what you want to share as per their nature.

6. Maintain positive eye contact during feedback session

An important aspect during a feedback session is eye contact. This can help you portray interest, attention, emotion, and intention. Also, continuous on-off eye contact ensures that the participants are interested in the proceedings. Eye contact during feedback sessions also ensures that you do not convey a wrong message accidentally.

Communication is a two-way process and information cannot be exchanged effectively if the flow is unidirectional. Feedback improves the overall effectiveness of communication by enabling the flow of information in the backward direction. The most common example of feedback is the questions that you ask at the end of a presentation.

Feedback can be in the form of doubts, suggestions, or thoughts that you will get after you communicate your message. One more thing about positive feedback is that it improves the performance of the individuals.

7. Be ready for difficult conversations

Sometimes, you may find yourself in a conversation with someone whose thoughts, opinions, and feelings are completely different than yours. The two most obvious choices that you have in such a circumstance are to either avoid the conversation or get yourself involved in an argument.

But neither of the ways is going to do the trick, which is to make the communication happen effectively while keeping personal differences aside. So, what you need to do to tackle a difficult conversation is to stay relaxed and try to understand what the other person wants to say before responding.

Also, you can practice how you respond when you get into tricky conversations that can happen with your manager or your colleagues.

8. Jot down all the key points of discussion

While communicating with your team, especially during a discussion or a meeting,  you witness the flow of a significant amount of information and ideas. However, it’s difficult to retain all the useful facts that are shared verbally with one another. As a result, it is likely to lose most parts of the conversation that may come in handy.

To ensure that discussion brings productive results and information does not get lost, you need to note down every piece of it that seems valuable. This way, you can secure many ideas that otherwise would have been lost.

9. Use communication software

Today, numerous software have emerged that make it easy to communicate and share your thoughts and ideas conveniently. You can use online team collaboration tools for instant messaging, video conferencing, brainstorming, note-taking, etc.

You can also use project management software like ProofHub, which comes with an integrated chat tool and various other collaboration features. You will be able to stay connected with your team and at the same time, manage all your projects using a single application.

By incorporating advanced communication or collaboration technology, it will be both easy and effective to communicate with your team.

For better communication and collaboration, you need a smart team collaboration tool.

Common communication mistakes that you should avoid

Before you start implementing the strategies for effective communication that I’ve discussed, just make sure that you are not making any common communication mistakes.

Here are some of the most common communication blunders that can lead to ineffective conversations: 

Common communication mistakes to avoid at workplace

1. Assuming everyone understands things the same way

When you communicate with several people at a time, it is normal that some of them will get it easily while others are unable to understand your point. It happens because of the difference in the understanding level and preferred learning style.

Moreover, you can never assume that all people similarly interpret your message. Thus, you should encourage your team members to ask questions right away. The one-size-fits-all approach never works when it comes to communication.

2. Being a bad listener

Communication is not only about speaking but also about listening and receiving information. In any conversation, one person shares the information by speaking while the other person listens and interprets.

So, what you need to understand here is that listening skills matter as much as speaking skills. When you listen actively to others, you will be able to understand things easily and learning becomes easier for you.

Individuals who are bad at listening, are less likely to extract the correct deets from the conversations. This builds up barriers that hinder the smooth functioning of the workflow.

3. Ignoring the tone of your voice

When you are communicating verbally, the tone of your voice matters a lot. Voice creates a major impact and acts as a key factor that decides how well your team members connect with you. Communicating in a harsh and annoying tone is likely to hurt them.

In worst-case scenarios, such instances result in conflicts. You need to make sure that the tone of your voice is gentle, confident, educating, and should imply that you are also willing to listen.

4. Emotions overpowering logic

Conversations influenced by your emotions are ineffective and are likely to bring in undesired outcomes, especially in the office environment. You need to think and communicate logically while keeping your emotions aside.

Most decisions that are guided by emotions are likely to be the ones that you regret later. It’s quite difficult but you need to resist your emotions from taking over your logical thinking.

5. Holding back your thoughts and ideas

Not expressing your thoughts while communicating can bring conversations to a dead end. It’s very important to share what’s on your mind with others to get your issues and requests noticed.

It would be best if you communicated your opinions with confidence to make sure that others don’t take them too lightly.

6. Reacting more and responding less

Reacting and responding are two different things. When you react, you take action without giving proper thought to the consequences and the impact that they are going to make. Generally, reactions are aggressive and tense.

On the other hand, responding means that you take time to think about the issue or the situation and then take action accordingly. Reactions are not good, especially when you are communicating with people on a professional level.

A single reaction during a conversation can induce multiple reactions that will create a hateful environment and kill productivity. 

7. Getting distracted easily

While exchanging information with others, you always need to pay attention to ensure that you don’t miss anything important. Distractions can put you in a situation where you are physically present in a conversation but mentally you become absent.

There can be many reasons for getting distracted while communicating such as bad attitude, the use of mobile phones, etc. To make any conversation successful, you need to keep distractions at bay and engage yourself with a positive attitude.

What are the four methods of communication?

Generally, there are several methods of communication that individuals can use to exchange information with one another. However, the 4 most common methods of communication used in organizations are as follows:

Methods of communication

1. Verbal communication

Verbal communication is the most common method of communication used by teams within organizations. It is a communication method in which the information is exchanged verbally. The individual behaving as the source transmits the information by speaking words or making patterns of sound, whereas the person at the receiving end needs to listen to the words or sound to get the information.

Several factors decide the effectiveness of your communication, such as clarity of speech, tone, word selection, speech rate, etc. Additionally, listening skills also matter a lot in deciding the overall success of communication.

2. Written communication

Written communication is another communication method teams use to disseminate data in the form of words or symbols written usually on paper or similar materials.

The individual who wants to communicate the message needs to write on a paper and the individual at the receiving end has to read the message to understand it. The best thing about written communication is that it provides a record of the messages that one can access and go through multiple times.

Words are of paramount importance when opting for written information. Unlike verbal communication, the person at the receiving end cannot perceive the emotions of the individual drafting the message.

Thus, the tone of writing and selection of words is crucial to ensure the reader gets the right information.

3. Nonverbal communication

During nonverbal communication, information is transmitted using gestures, postures, and facial expressions. An individual can convey information using visual cues like body language, eye contact, etc.

One important thing to notice about nonverbal communication is that it can also happen unintentionally as non-verbal communication has many types. For example, not looking at the person who is sharing an idea with you most likely means that you are either not interested or disagree with the idea.

4. Visual communication

Visual communication makes use of signs, drawings, illustrations, graphics, pictures, etc. to communicate information and messages. The choice of the right elements can make it easier for individuals to interpret the information.

Both verbal and written communication can make use of visual elements to make the information more understandable. The most common instance where visual communication is used alongside verbal and written communication is during team meetings.

Stay connected with your team members as well as people from other teams in real-time with ProofHub.

Wrapping it up

Good communication skills are imperative for becoming successful in the workplace. Whether you are communicating with your team or with your boss, you should practice effective communication strategies to take your conversations to the next level. I also suggest that you should try to avoid common mistakes that affect any type of communication within your office.

Before you go, I want to share a quote with you that emphasizes the importance of communication:

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

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