Communicating With Your Team

 

Communicating with Your TeamI greet people I work with “How are You?”. This is my first opportunity each day making sure I’m communicating with my team. I listen to the answer and find out if it’s “good, how are you” to “omg, the world is gonna end”.

You gain amazing insights into your team and find out some problems you didn’t even know exist, by listening to the answers your team share with you.

Communicating With Your Team

I always ask this it’s my opportunity to check in with my team. The tone, body language and how the reply sounds changes how you understand the answer.

Talking with your team is an essential communication skill to help us all to work better. This is how we find out how the day will go.

We can ask each other questions like:

  • How is everything,
  • What’s new,
  • What’s changed

and the next question now can be:

  • Is there a problem, and
  • What’s the solution?

When I ask how are you going, the answers can be all over the place. I could get a personal response like feeling great, back hurts, my kids drive me crazy or more. I also get answers about work, this is working, I can’t figure out how to do this, this is an issue, do you know how to fix this.

I give my team the opportunity to answer the question with what helps them. It’s all about communicating and working with my team.

Have you ever talked with a teenager who’s not happy? Go ahead, ask what’s wrong and get answered with “nothing”. Parents know it’s code that something really is wrong. We have to find out what is wrong and depending on the tone and body language of the reply, just how serious it is.

Go ahead, ask what’s wrong and get answered with “nothing”. Parents know it’s code that something really is wrong. We have to find out what is wrong and depending on the tone and body language of the reply, just how serious it is.

In business, you ask what’s wrong and when you hear “nothing”, you could take it as the answer. After all, we are all adults, we would say if there is an issue, right?

Not always.

It’s much easier to say nothing is going wrong.  You think it’s fixable, you can ask someone else to help you before you say it’s not working, you worry about the response if it’s not working, or you are flat out scared of the person asking the question. I’ve answered that way in the past for all those reasons, and more.

When I am part of a team where I feel trusted and valued, I can stop saying “nothing is wrong”. Whatever the issue is, I get advice to fix it. If I’m stumped, I ask for help. I communicate with my team what’s not working and we find solutions. I love building and creating teams with this way of working. This makes your business work.

Learning to talk with your team is so important. Figuring out what’s happening in your business and your teams is always about communication. If you don’t know, you don’t know. You think you know, but you really don’t, and when it goes majorly wrong and you start finding out ‘everyone knew’ but you, it’s so much more work to fix it.

So how does this work?

First of all, don’t say “let’s talk”. Most of your team will see it as confronting, think they are in trouble and start the whole conversation on the defensive.

How are you going, what’s new, how’s everything, is the start of a conversation where they can say as much or as little as they are comfortable with. You get to direct the conversation after you start them talking.

Take the time if they want to have a quick chat about the weekend, family, sports or anything interesting. Let them feel relaxed so an open conversation can start.

You are building relationships with your team so giving your time to listen to them builds a stronger, better relationship.

Your team knows you are interested and you will build trust. When you each trust, more gets done. Productivity increases, solutions happen and mistakes are notified and fixed. Your team works with you, and you are no longer alone.

Talking with your team is so important.

I’ve built several successful teams and been a part of successful teams. The big difference I’ve noticed in ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ teams is relationships. If there is a good relationship, you have the start to a great team. If your team doesn’t care what happens to someone else, if you “just do your job”, the team isn’t a team, it’s a group of people doing their own thing. If it gets in your way, it’s just the way it is.

I am a ‘communication enthusiast’. I write posts and ebooks about communication with your team, and train teams where most of the training is about how to communicate. It’s this important.

It also has to be genuine. Faking it till you make it doesn’t work with communications or relationship building. Asking how are you and not even listening to the response won’t tick a box. You won’t be building a relationship, you will be destroying it and making it harder for anyone to trust you.

I mentioned earlier about talking about personal things can be a choice your team member makes when you ask how they are going. Let them do it. If they don’t want to share personal information, this is fine also. Let them tell you their answer to your question.

How are you going might be answered with a lot of talk about business. Your team member might not be comfortable talking about their personal life. You are still communicating. Talk about what helps make them comfortable with you.

Let your team make the choice on what works for them to answer. Don’t push for personal information is they want to talk about your business. Don’t push for business information if they want to share some personal things with you. It’s all about talking with your team. Enjoy the talk, enjoy the relationship and enjoy seeing your team become stronger each time you talk together.

Your team being comfortable talking with you will allow your business to have wins and successes, be up to date with your business and have your team willingly to let you know when problems or mistakes happen. Your business success is built upon the relationship your team has with you.

If you have trouble communicating with your team, we have to speak to each other.

Book a call now. It’s really easy and I promise I won’t bite.  I can help you, let’s see how you are going. 

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