Mastering Team Communication with Five Dynamic Tips

culture cuppa mastering team communication with five dynamic tips

Growing your team is an exciting opportunity. This is when you can bring people in to help you with your business and start to accelerate the reality of your vision. Suddenly you don’t have to do everything yourself and you have the capacity to achieve so much more. 

However, it’s also the time when most entrepreneurs experience their greatest challenges. If you’ve been the sole person in your business up to this point, then you have been used to making quick decisions and getting on with it. Now you need to lead, motivate and delegate effectively.

The problem is, when you don’t communicate well, this can result in miscommunication and misunderstandings, low motivation and morale, slowing down delivery and results. When communication breaks down, it can lead to conflict and ultimately you may lose great people, meaning you have to spend time recruiting, training and onboarding again. Here are my top five tips to help you communicate as the leader of your business.

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1 - Inspire people with how you communicate your vision

When your people ‘get it’, they are excited and inspired by what you’re achieving together. Your team feels included, involved and part of the vision, and they’re dear on why their contribution matters. 

This is the rocket fuel which powers your team, and helps everyone to keep going through good and bad. You know your vision, now you need to communicate it and what it means for your people simply and clearly.

Questions to ask yourself: 

Do you have a clear, inspiring expression of your vision? How do you communicate it regularly to your team? How do you keep it top of mind for them?

2 - Understand your team communication dynamics

As a leader of people, it’s important to understand that not everybody likes to communicate in the same way. As you grow your team, you will bring in people who have different communication styles. Some people like to talk through ideas out loud, some like time to reflect before contributing, and others prefer to talk together as a group before coming to a final opinion. Some people are happy to message continuously all day, others prefer to communicate by meeting to talk. 

When you understand preferred communication styles, you know how to involve, consult and share information. You create time and space to communicate and agree as a team on ideal ways of working and boundaries, so everybody feels comfortable speaking up and sharing their voice.

Questions to ask yourself: 

Do you know your preferred communication style? Do you understand how your team likes to communicate and receive communication? Do you know how and what to adapt in your communication style?

Communication challenges in your team?

3 - Communicate through how you listen

When we’re working fast, we often focus on what we want to say. True communication is a two-way and happens when there is listening and speaking. Listening helps you know how people feel and helps you temperature check your business as it expands. Your team needs to know that you are open and available for them to share their ideas, worries and feedback. 

Remember, listening also means you don’t have to have all the answers. That’s why you have brought people into your team, so trust them to find their own answers. Listening is a skill, which requires space, time and an ability to tune our ears.

Questions to ask yourself: 

Are you creating time to listen? Are you removing distractions and coming into conversations with a real intent to listen? Are you listening with your eyes, as well as with your ears, by observing non-verbal clues to reveal real feelings?

4 - Create space for connection

Communication isn’t only about the topics you want to share or discuss. It is also the unstructured conversations, chit-chat and small talk that happens between people. It’s the ‘getting to know you’, and understanding people’s personal contexts and values. 

If you are mostly working remotely, you can explore the best ways to create facetime and meaningful conversations, whether in regular meet-ups in co-working spaces, coming together for coffee or over food, or intentionally setting aside time in virtual meetings for more unstructured catch-ups. 

Connection doesn’t happen automatically and requires attention and ongoing nurturing. Just like a plant, when you feed and water your connection, your team spirit will thrive.

Questions to ask yourself: 

How are you creating space for connection and meaningful conversation in your team? Where, when and how frequently does this happen? Do people feel like they have enough time together to chat?

Looking for something else? Questions?

5 - Communicate to celebrate

As your business accelerates, it’s easy to get sucked into focusing on delivery and constantly moving on to the next thing. Your role as a leader is to pause your team regularly and celebrate the wins, small and large along the journey, to recognise the results, great work and individuals who are going above and beyond. 

You can communicate and reward this in different ways, whether formally, such as ‘weekly wins’ messages or quarterly ‘thank you’ gifts, or informally and regularly in sharing good news and celebrating individual wins in your chats and meetings. This is what will motivate and encourage your people, and it’s important in good and tough times.

Questions to ask yourself: 

How are you regularly communicating to celebrate individuals, results and wins? What are the different ways you can do this to appreciate and reward your people?

Expanding your team means aligning, involving and consulting your people, while also trusting them to deliver. You need to make conscious choices to let go, so you avoid micromanaging and squashing your talented people. 

At the heart of all this is your strong communication as a leader to engage, motivate and allow your people to grow and thrive.

This article originally appeared in Brand You Magazine, Issue 29. You can purchase a print copy of this edition here.

Brand You Magazine ISSUE 29, FEB-MARCH 2024

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