The Importance of Communication Determines Your Team Success 

Importance of Communication business slide

Most continuous improvement teams overlooked the importance of communication. At some point everyone on your team needs to communicate what they know and they should be able to communicate this well.

Not only is the way you communicate important to effectively sharing your ideas within your team, how you speak, write, and relate sets the guidelines by which your organization operates.

Effective communication gets the results you want.

In the hierarchy of building a strong business, the importance of communication is the number one factor determining your success.

Most businesses get caught up in the trap of "there's work to be done." As the parable of the two woodcutters goes, the guy who takes the time to sit and sharpen his saw regularly always out produces the guy who keeps chopping despite the fact his ax is no longer cutting.

Consider "sharpening the saw" to be the same as learning and teaching effective communication skills to your team. 

Not only is what you communicate important, how you communicate is essential too.

If you have a team or a business you must educate your members the process of doing their job, you must train and retrain people on how to do their jobs better. This all harkens back to the importance of communication skills.

Whether you have a business with 30 or more people, or it's just you, performance depends on how effectively you initiate a process to produce the desired results.

To do this you must audit your communication religiously: how did you talk to a prospective customer or team member, how did they respond, how did the meeting get off-track, what is producing results, where are the weak spots.

Only through an effective auditing process and swift implementation of change can you produce consistent desired results in your business. To make this happen you must be consistent in the manner you train your staff, have them audit their own communications, and provide feedback on what is working and what isn't.

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What Do You Expect?

Set high expectations for how you and your team communicates. Then reinforcing these expectations with focused training and communication exercises. This goes a long way in determining how effectively your team communicates.

Which in turn determines the level of cooperation, happiness, content at work, and productivity.

Look at the teams that struggle. How do you think their employees would characterize communication within the organization?

  • Positive or Negative?
  • Honest or dishonest?
  • Cooperative or hostile?
  • Open or guarded?

The Self-Imposed Barriers To Communication Success

Successful communication starts by getting real with yourself, you must start really making deep connections with your team on an emotional level. Some people resist this suggestion. But if you want to break down the barriers that stop your team from achieving it's goals, you must first break down the barriers to honest effective communication.

To start, determine where your team's communication challenges and hang-ups lie:

Is information shared openly and honestly? Do you have an "open door" policy or at least a way that your team can communicate with you?

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Importance of Communication Means Increasing Commitment and Connection

The closer someone feels to a specific group the more commitment and affinity they exert to engage and help out within the group. If you want your team to act and produce results for the betterment of the whole, you must acknowledge the importance of communication skills.

So what obvious benefits will increased communication have?

  • Healthy conflict resolution
  • More effective decision making
  • Improved perception of your business
  • Long-term employee retention

If you can not communicate you cannot lead.

You set the standard for your team, how you communicate will naturally ruboff on others. You will be emulated and reflected by your employees, so it pays to act in such a way you maximize everyone's effectiveness.

Does this mean you can't be yourself?

No. All good leaders have their own unique style of leadership, be your authentic self, but keep these three things in mind:

  • Always be consistent: Everyone loses when the rules of the game change day after day. If you want people to trust you, and want them to be consistent in their words and actions, keep the rules the same everyday.
  • Clarity is Key: Like consistency, clarity lets others understand your wants and needs. You must be clear in your intentions, wants, and needs. Strive for clarity in your communications and have people repeat back to you if there's question.
  • Respect others: No one person is more important than anyone else, regardless of title. People deserve and respond when treated with respect. Always. This sets the tone for how your team communicates with one another, clients, and customers.

The importance of communication is not always clear, but it's always a significant indicator of a team's health. Discovering how to lead people is essentially a matter of learning how to communicate effectively.

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Apply the S.U.C.C.E.S.s Formula On Your Team

One of the most powerful formulas I've found for expressing ideas effectively is Chip and Dan Heath's "Made To Stick". They developed an acronym for the process of communicating ideas that stick in the minds of listeners. The SUCCESs process stands for:

  • Simple
  • Unexpected
  • Concrete
  • Credible
  • Emotional
  • Stories

Using this simple framework, you can help others see the importance of communication skills in your team. As you train your team on the various ways on applying this SUCCESs formula to audit communication you will see rapid improvement in retention and expression of information.

Effective communication naturally becomes simpler. Clarity replaces confusion as people deliver and respond to clear messages in concrete language.

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A Single Act That Holds People Accountable For Their Actions

People live up to what they write down. One of the most powerful processes you can implement personally or on your team is the skill of writing things down.

This allows people to see their ideas on paper and gives them the ability to clarify them in concrete language. The simple process of writing things down helps people hold themselves accountable for their own actions. When they write down their goals, their "to do" lists, their ideas, people become about 50% more accountable to remain loyal to what they've written.

Emphasizing and accepting the importance of communication skills and giving people the proper tools to gain them is one of the most influential aspects of running and a productive, self-regulated, cohesive continuous improvement team.

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Quality Assurance Solutions
Robert Broughton
(805) 419-3344
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