Have you ever been the victim of a communication breakdown? There’s nothing more frustrating than failing to complete a task on time or to the best of your ability because of a miscommunication between a coworker, client, or boss. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve communication and customer satisfaction. Try one of these strategies to avoid communication breakdown:
Be Upfront About Expectations and Goals
Workplace communication becomes a lot easier when you’re all coming from the same place. Don’t kick off a brainstorming session or meeting by assuming everyone knows their roles, goals, and other action items. This leads to missed deadlines, unclear objectives, and confusion about roles.
Start every meeting with a review of your action items and when to expect deadlines and other assignments. Once assigning who is responsible for what, send a follow-up email or call to confirm.
At the same time, be wary about communicating too much with your employees and teammates. If you’re sending someone 20 emails a day, they’re more likely to tune you out. Communication breakdowns can result from the best intentions. Instead of haranguing your workmates virtually, consider following this golden rule: a dozen exchanges an hour between all team members can maximize productivity – any more will actually detract from your efforts.
At the same time, not all communication is created equally. According to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, email can be an ineffective way to complete work tasks. If you want to know how to avoid a communication breakdown, consider this tried-and-true method: a good old-fashioned face-to-face conversation. According to a recent study, over 35% of a team’s performance is attributable to their face-to-face exchanges.
However, this doesn’t mean that you need to call a board meeting every day. Simple, informal exchanges like coffee breaks can be just as effectual. If you’re spread out over multiple companies, consider adding video collaboration to your routine.
Leverage Collaborative Technology
Finally, technology makes it easy for us to collaborate effectively. Consider using Slack for quick team exchanges and Trello to keep track of items on your to-do list. With a little prioritization and organizing, you and your team can eliminate communication breakdowns and complete your tasks on time and to the best of your ability. Apply one of these tips to your next project and see your productivity skyrocket. A job well done is worth celebrating!