This week’s 3X includes three ideas for improving workplace communication. Visit FixingWorkplaceCommunication.com to learn more.
Effective workplace communication is always driven by value. Any piece of data, insight, idea, or question we share with others should have value — it must help us achieve our goals and targets.
When you communicate with your colleagues, peers, managers, or employees, ask yourself first: what am I looking to achieve, and does the content of the interaction support that? If you can’t see the value in an interaction, disengage or change it, so it has a clear return on investment.
Most of our workplace communication is spontaneous. It is not planned, and we feel compelled to take part in it reactively. Effective communication must be intentful. Our communication flows must be designed to utilize our time without being intrusive and getting in the way of the other work we are supposed to do.
Design effective communication flows with your team. Don’t look for the fastest or cheapest solution. Create a flow that allows you to process information, think things through, challenge ideas, and refine them. Eventually, this is what we communicate for.
Email and instant messaging are fractured platforms. The information we send and receive is not organized in any meaningful structure. The message that arrives last will appear on the top of our inbox. Making sense of a complex idea or an extended discussion is practically impossible.
Consider the structure of the information you share and where the discussion should occur. Having the conversation in the context of the work it is associated with makes it easier to retrieve and navigate. And the internal structure of the data, arguments, and ideas is no less critical. When you communicate with other people, how you articulate your thoughts is as important as the ideas themselves.