Having meaningful conversations in the workplace
Effective communication results in minimising potential misunderstanding, creates unity as everyone is aligned or clear on the views or aims of another individual or company. An effective communicator understands their audience, chooses an appropriate communication channel, hones their message to this channel and encodes the message to reduce misunderstanding by the receiver(s). Overall, this results in improved employee and business relationships.
Choosing the right mode of communication, that is delivered in the right way is critical across an organisation, but arguably none more important than between a line manager and a direct report. These parties have an on-going relationship and one that is built on trust and respect, so therefore meaningful conversations are imperative. Delivering feedback effectively or following up with a direct report on a missed deadline, is a skill, and one that all too often, line managers are expected to know how to do. Here are some tips to ensure you are ‘BOOST’ing your feedback:
• Balanced – Feedback should look at both positive and negative aspects of an individual’s performance, not just one or the other. All achievements should be duly recognised. It motivates employees to give their best every time. If there are any areas for improvement, work together to come up with ideas of how to overcome them.
• Observed – Feedback should be based on first-hand observations rather than reports from others or even your own feelings. Managers who are directly responsible for their team members have a more precise understanding of how a team member performs. They are thus able to give more constructive feedback based on their own observations.
• Objective – Being objective allows the communicator to be constructive in their communication and think about the audience(s) and what is important for them to hear or take from the communication.
• Specific – Make sure your messaging is to the point. Vague feedback gives no direction and can give confusing messages.
• Timely – Communication should also be timely. For example, if feedback is given at the time, or shortly after someone’s actions, this has a much more positive impact as it is given in context, is relevant and likely to be more accurate.
If delivered in the right way, communication allows you to take others with you, ensuring all relevant parties are aligned and clear on the necessary actions or steps ahead. So, don’t forget to communicate to your direct team, wider team, stakeholders and suppliers. Ensure everyone is on the same path. Most importantly, ensure your teams are equipped to do the same, give them the skills necessary to be an effective leader.
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