Communication, Success and Teams

Effective communications, enabling success, and building teams include well-worn ideas. Working these into habits can still improve yourself, your team, your organization.

A consistent way to succeed is also a simple one – Tell folks what you’re planning to do, do it, then let folks know what you’ve done. It’s effective and ensures nothing gets too far afield before it’s caught and corrected.

Communication is paramount. By encouraging communication, you encourage cooperation.

Basics include

  • Reading and answering email
  • Returning calls
  • Not leaving too much detail in voice mail; noting when, where and how you can be reached and when you’ll call back

Maybe less obvious: Note how you prefer to communicate. Be flexible in considering others’ preferences.

Meeting in-person allows for nuances and serendipity. It’s the best way for new folks to learn about one another. Meetings allow for multi-party back and forth. It’s also the most time-consuming and coordination-intensive. Meetings need active management to be kept productive.

Phone calls are personal through putting voice to name. A conference call can keep a team attuned with events. A call is intimate and immediate because good phone calls are all that’s happening for the duration of a call. They take coordination, too.

Email allows for more thoughtful response. They can be written, sent, received, and read on individuals’ schedules. They can cover detailed information and provide a record for same. They miss out on personality. Beyond facts, they can be tone-deaf.

IM can be great for one-on-one and small-group communication. “Presence awareness” – who’s online and reachable – gives this mode a leg up on email and the phone. Messages can be disruptive, and the expectation that they’re responded to immediately creates pressure and difficulties for those who are in a work zone or mid-conversation with others.

Meetings are important they’re a great way to share information with a wide group, foster conversation. and speed the question and answer process. Actively managing them will improve their effectiveness.Schedule lengths; posit an agenda; request feedback before the meeting; stick to the agenda’s focus. Manage meetings to scheduled length and agenda. Recall that when five people are in an hour-long meeting, that’s five hours spent.

Communication is key to preparing your team for successTransparency is a key part of communication.

  • Share the overall vision with the team
  • In smaller groups and with individuals, tailor that vision to their areas of participation
  • Note where individual contributions fit into the overall strategy
  • Be aware of sensitivities, yet opt for openness

Say Thank You.

  • Dollars are a great way to say Thank You
  • Time off is a great way to say Thank You
  • Saying “Thank you” is a great way to say thank you  – This one’s no-cost and often overlooked.

Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks

By Steve McNally

I build products, teams and business lines that blend publishing, marketing and advertising technologies for global brands and startups.