SupportBiz presents a few important tips to improve your communication in the workplace, as a small business owner.
For your colleagues to feel safe and comfortable in your presence, you need to be friendly and accommodating. If you work towards being approachable, they will find it easier to come to you with their views, ideas and problems. Never make your colleagues feel intimidated or scared. Be willing to offer suggestions or help to your colleagues, whenever it is required. Promote a culture of open communication in your organisation.
Stop being condescending
Be willing to listen to what your colleagues have to say, with an open mind. Do not be condescending of their views and ideas. Stop thinking that, as the boss, you know everything and have nothing to learn from your team mates or from other people in your organisation.
Do not gossip
Avoid gossiping about your colleagues with other people in the organisation. This will only make them wary of you.
Do not be judgemental
Do not be judgemental in your dealings with your colleagues. Be willing to listen to what others have to say to you, without judging them right from the start.
Give your colleagues your complete attention when they are speaking to you, instead of a half-hearted ear. Give them the space to say what they want to, without thwarting their speech or interrupting them.
Empathise heartily with your colleagues when they present their views or problems to you. Do not put them in a spot or an embarrassing situation in front of others, but be willing to give them a patient hearing.
Do not offer unsolicited advice
Do not be someone who offers unsolicited advice to your colleagues. Offer people advice only when it is asked for, especially if it concerns matters outside the limits of routine work. Learn to differentiate between situations where people need your help and those where people’s concerns are their own to resolve.
Do not put off difficult conversations
If you are of a reserved nature, you might find it easier to put off difficult conversations in order to avoid conflict. This approach is, however, not advisable. Learn to approach difficult conversations head-on, and do not keep postponing them.
Clearly define responsibilities
Ensure that you define, very clearly, the roles and responsibilities of your team mates. Explain to them their deadlines and priorities. Do not operate on hazy timelines and unclear roles – that will only lead to workplace conflicts.
Give your colleagues a chance to express their views on issues that matter to them. Do not withhold important information from them, or take decisions without considering their suggestions.
Offer praise and feedback
Be willing to offer honest praise to your colleagues for exceptional work done or wonderful workplace behaviour. Similarly, be honest with your feedback to your colleagues.