5 Communication Mistakes Hurting Your Business
How many times does your mind wander off at meetings or conference calls? One minute you’re focused on sales figures and next thing you know, you’re trying to recall if you locked your front door. You nod in agreement and shake your head when asked for questions, embarrassed for tuning out the last 30 minutes.
We’ve all been there. You’ve seen productivity drop and the quality of your work suffer because of lapses in communication. But how do you stop making the same mistakes? A good way to start is by being aware of which bad habits you and your team need to change.
Letting strict hierarchy get in the way
Don’t be the boss that doesn’t know your staff by name—especially if you have a small business. As an entrepreneur, communications should start with you.
Be the first to ask questions, comment, praise, and provide feedback to your employees. Set an example and engage them in conversation, so your team will feel at ease sharing their ideas and honest opinions when it comes to work.
Foregoing group discussions
Apart from impromptu chats and water cooler talk, create opportunities to communicate and build it into your schedule. Set weekly conference calls, meetings, or quarterly performance reviews to open up avenues for regular discussion.
Establishing a setting where roles and expectations are defined gives your staff time to prepare themselves, and allows them to identify which concerns or information are appropriate to share for each kind of meeting.
Drawing out meetings
Doodling, checking emails, and even dozing off—we’ve all been guilty of at least one during meetings. Shave off 15 minutes from each hour-long session, and in turn, you’ll get 12 more hours of work per person in a year. If you need longer than that, consider sending it as an email instead.
For quick updates, stand in a huddle and limit each person to a 5 minute piece. This will make you feel a sense of urgency, forcing you to make your thoughts as clear and concise as possible.
Staying tied down to your desk
As the world moves away from traditional work arrangements, you have to be open to changes in order to keep up. With more people expecting on-demand communications, it makes sense to consider technology you can use in and outside the office.
Take advantage of the familiarity of mobile devices through UC (Unified Communications) solutions that keeps communications secure and professional with its business-grade functionality. Investing in future-proof technology is a win-win for both your staff and your customers.
Hiding behind technology
While emails and instant messages are great for company blasts or sharing links, these should not replace face to face conversations entirely. If you want input or need to give someone a heads up, walk over to their desk or better yet, ask them out to lunch. The simplest and cheapest way can sometimes turn out to be the best way too.
Bad habits can be a tough nut to crack. But with the right tools and a lot of practice, it’s completely doable. Don’t be afraid to explore new technology with the help of a trusted unified communications specialist like Alltel. By being better at communicating with each other, your business can be more effective at getting your message across to customers.