Communication Is Key, But You’ve Got to Get It Right
We all know how important communication is for any relationship, but it’s more than just talking or sending emails. Organizations need to have effective communication to build trust between teams and departments. But what exactly is effective communication? The tricky part is what works for one organization might not work for another. This means you’ll have to figure out what’s effective with a little trial and error. To figure out what effective communication looks like in your organization, ask yourself these questions:
- What information needs to be communicated?
- What information doesn’t need to be communicated, but is nice to share?
- What method am I using to communicate?
- How often should I communicate?
Answering the first two questions isn’t difficult. Information that needs to be communicated includes things like company goals, companywide changes to strategy and decisions on the company’s future plans. Information that’s not critical but helps keep people informed and in touch can include information about other teams and departments like the achievement of a milestone, development of a new product feature or changes in roles.
Answering the latter two questions is where you become an effective communicator. First, there are many methods you can use to communicate. You can share information verbally in meetings, send out company newsletters or have information passed down the chain of command. Ask yourself which method is right for the piece of information you’re communicating. Changes to a company's five-year plan are at least a company-wide email or maybe a company-wide meeting, while small product releases might be better suited for a monthly company newsletter. Finally, you need to consider how often you should communicate because people can quickly become fatigued from a deluge of emails or constant meetings. No matter how effective of a communicator you are, if people don’t want to receive your message, it’s not going to work.