We get inquiries all the time from people who are seeking strategies and tools to deliver effective communication and feedback in the workplace. Why? Because we all generally (technical term here) suck at communication and relationships and they really, really matter. Now more than ever in this new era of remote and disconnected work, we must hear each other clearly. With 60-93% of all communication happening nonverbally (depending on which study you’re referencing), there’s not a lot of room for mistakes. We must be able to effectively communicate with others, no matter what the medium, if we want to be successful in the rapidly evolving future world of work.
Below, we’ve compiled 5 of our best tools for the most effective communication and feedback in the “new” workplace:
Listen More Than You Speak
One of the most important tools for effective communication and feedback in the workplace is to practice the art of actually listening to the person you’re speaking to. Too many times we ask questions without bothering to listen to the answer. Your ears are the #1 most important communication tool you have! Yet, we’re often too busy thinking about what we’re going to say next or worrying about something else entirely to really listen to the person who’s speaking. So, make the commitment to listen more than you speak – it will shift your focus from “self” to “others” which is a critical component of relationship building.
Give Feedback 365
The old way of annual performance reviews is dead and has been dead for a long time. The workplace changes too rapidly, especially in this era of forced remote work, for annual reviews to be of practical use to us. Instead, give real-deal feedback in the moment when it’s needed. When you give continuous feedback to employees, peers, clients, and even your bosses, you allow for iterative micro-adjustments. We’re not always going to get everything right or have the correct response for every situation. Feedback allows for those tiny shifts that can add up to massive change to actually happen.
Ask Great Questions
You’ve heard me say this over and over again. Learn how to ask great questions. It is one of the most effective communication tools in your toolbox. Great questions are open-ended, nonjudgmental, supportive, and help you go deeper to mine for the crystals below the surface. The power of the question can move a room, create trust in an instant, create empathy and connection immediately. Questions are a lifeline in communication, and don’t forget to listen to the answer for the follow up of a whopper question. If you’re not sure how to ask great questions, pick up a copy of Chasing Relevance or reach out to us for help.
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably looking for ways to up your communication game and learn how to better connect with others. One of the most effective ways to do that is to change the way you communicate. Adopt our GPS Communication Strategy and watch how your conversations and relationships change. GPS stands for Gratitude, Permission, and Shared Experience. It’s a framework you can apply to every conversation, but especially the tough ones. Click here to check it out. Let’s practice anytime you need it.
Recognize What is Needed from Your People and Celebrate Success
Finally, we must make a habit of recognizing the good and bad and speaking of them and celebrating all the wins from big to small. Beyond fostering stronger relationships with our team members, recognizing the status, fatigue or challenges and speaking of them creates trust and empathy. People feel heard and part of the tribe. Of course, recognizing the successes throughout and the wins also allows you to give positive feedback in the moment (remember Feedback 365) and reinforces the behaviors you want to continue. Plus, everyone likes to feel like they’re understood and doing a good job, that they’re making a difference, and that what they do has meaning.
When it comes to effective communication and feedback in the workplace, it isn’t something you perfect overnight or that you ever even master. Instead, it’s something that needs constant attention and cultivation if you want to reap the benefits. However, with the right tools, tips, and strategies at your disposal, you can up your game quickly and create success. If you liked the concepts we shared in this article, reach out to learn how we can support you with personalized, on-demand coaching, workshops, and training for yourself and your team. Make sure to ask us about our new coaching product, Hooga!