Your team is skilled; they’re great workers, fully-capable of excelling at the projects you throw at them, but somehow critical information is being overlooked and deadlines missed. This is common for all sized businesses in every niche and poor communication can be disastrous. The fortunate truth is that there is an easy solution: prioritize an organized communication strategy. Here are five advanced internal communication skills to integrate into your new plan.
1. Improve Productivity With Modern Technology
In what ways do you currently connect with teammates? Email? Phone? Skype? Have you considered mass text messaging? What about customer relationship management (CRM) software? It’s not 1999 — your communication options are unlimited.
If you’re regularly sending out mass emails that aren’t being read as often as you’d like, check out an SMS (text message) marketing platform that allows you to send your internal messages directly to multiple phones at once without adding them to a group chat. It’s less intrusive than a phone call, and 99% of text messages are read within three minutes.
Sometimes a communication revamp requires alterations to other aspects of your business. For example, if your team spends a lot of time inside your website dashboard, it might be time to switch over to a simple yet state of the art content management system like Shopify. If you connect your Shopify-compatible CRM software to your website, your sales team will be able to add notes and communicate with one another without opening multiple software platforms.
2. Scrutinize Word-Use in All Communications
Whether you’re communication traditionally or taking advantage of new technologies, you need to examine your word use. Follow these rules:
- Keep it Simple - Complications happen mostly because you get used to seeing and hearing “buzzwords” and you start using them or because you say more than necessary. This can confuse people. So, keep your conversations simple -- just say what you need.
- Steer Clear of Ambivalence - Did you know the word “set” has 464 different definitions in the Oxford English Dictionary? Try to avoid words with multiple meanings to get your point across the first time.
- Avoid Industry Slang - Those words that are only used in your industry aren’t going to make sense to anyone else. Assume that everything you say will be repeated to clients and customers who do not know what “bias distortion” is.
3. Share Supporting Data With Everything
When communicating internally, it’s critical, especially as a leader or supervisor, to use real numbers and facts. Rather than saying, “This project is due late next week,” is vague. You might mean Friday evening, Saturday morning, or Thursday afternoon.” Instead, you should say, “The deadline for these tasks is Thursday, May 25 at 11:59 pm.” Use helpful, measurable data in face-to-face and written communication.
These tips will help you improve your business communication strategy. Use text messaging and host your CRM inside your website dashboard. Be mindful of your word use with simple and straightforward language. Be sure to use supporting data when communicating face-to-face or through any sort of device. As you acclimate yourself to communicating in this way, you are sure to see a significant improvement in misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and overall business success. What is your favorite communication tip? Share it in the comments below.
About the Author
Ashley Kimler has a background in psychology studies and advanced certification in New Media Communications. She currently works with the digital gurus at Heroic Search in Tulsa. To see what other knowledge she and her team have to share, follow @ashleykimler on Twitter.