As much as I love, love, love working with others, I have found that I do not enjoy calling people for work stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s a client, vendor, or team member, there’s something about it I just don’t like. Isn’t that weird?
I love emailing and texting, that is for sure. But my favorite way to communicate is face-to-face if at all possible. The more I sat back this summer and thought of that the more I started to understand why.
When I call someone, I feel like I am interrupting them, and they are obligated to answer or respond. If I’m emailing or texting, they read it when they have time. If we are meeting face-to-face it’s planned or I can read their body language if I’m interrupting.
Have you ever thought about how you get information out to the people you work with? Do you have a preferred method? What about the people you are trying to communicate with…what do they prefer?
The more I thought about how I communicate, the more I realized if I want to be more effective, I need to make a few changes. Below are the changes I started to work on. Take a look at the list and see if there are any areas that would help you communicate with your team as well.
- Decide on the most efficient way to get the information across. If it’s something that is just an FYI, email or text is ok. However, if it is something that will cause more questions or will require clarification, in person or over the phone may be best.
- Decide on the urgency of the information. Is it better to walk over to their desk and tell them now? Is it something that doesn’t need to be attended to in the next week or so?
- Think about how the recipient receives information the best. The whole point is the consumption and understanding of the message. If I’m trying to text someone who would do so much better with a simple phone call, I should call. If they don’t ever answer the phone, perhaps an email or stopping by is best.
- Decide on the importance of the information. Is a team meeting required? Is it something that everyone needs to know and needs to hear each other’s questions? Is it personal private information? Is it something that each person will respond to differently?
- Be sure to share information. If all else fails, err on the side of just getting the information out there. Better to communicate somehow than to worry about how to share it and in the process never share it!
As the manager of a team a few years ago, I had very different personalities on my team. One person liked to read and digest quietly, and then ask questions. Another liked to have just the bare minimum, and not a lot of details. The rest really just wanted to be kept in the loop as much as possible, so preferred more information than they really needed.
How do you communicate with your team?
Consider how well your team receives your messages. Remember, the idea is consumption and understanding! We want well informed teams because it builds trust, innovation and productivity!