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TALKING POINTS

Smart Ways to Boost Communication at Work

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There’s nothing more important than establishing effective communication within your team, regardless of your position in the office. So what can you do to ensure peace and productivity in the workplace?  

Break the ice 
When it’s time to welcome a new team member… 

Managers: ditch the boring office tours and throw a scavenger hunt instead! Place clues at important locations such as the pantry and the copy machine, and take this opportunity to break the ice by having the newbie introduce himself to other co-workers to earn the clues.
Team members: while everyone is excited to meet the new guy, he may struggle to remember all the new names and faces. Why not help him out? Try making a photo reference with people’s names, and one word related to their likes or dislikes, as a mnemonic device to help the newbie remember his new colleagues. He will appreciate the help and your new work relationship is off to a good start. 

Everyone’s a star 
When there are very different work styles in your team…

Managers:
get your team to do a personality quiz together. It helps you understand each member’s work styles, in a more casual way. Assign tasks according to both their skills and personality types to create a balanced dynamic where every member can shine. For example, social butterflies are often known to have brilliant ideas but can get distracted easily; in this case, planners can help keep them focused on the task at hand thanks to their organised nature.

Team members: dealing with different personality types at work is an art, and one that takes practice to master. Start by keeping a gratitude journal. Write down what your co-workers have done that you feel thankful for. This meditative practice will guide you to see the good qualities of your teammates and improve your mood as you focus on the positive. With this new mindset you’ll be able to see any work style differences just as they are, instead of sources of annoyance.
Have a little trust
When you think micromanagement is at play… 

Managers: if you often feel the need to approve every single detail, chances are you’re micromanaging. The obvious solution – trusting your team – is easier said than done, but there are a few steps to build trust gradually: first, look at the big picture so you don’t get lost in the details; then, set clear expectations and delegate low-risk assignments; leave them to the tasks until the deadline and if they succeed, assign higher-risk projects next time.

Team members: it can be nerve-racking to feel you’re being watched every step of the way. How about make an extra effort to earn your boss’s trust first? Before taking any action though, examine yourself and fix any issues that might cause them to micromanage you. Then share regular updates and anticipate what’s expected of you, and get it done in advance. Soon, frequent reminders will become unnecessary.
Communication overload?
When you are bombarded with information…

Managers: poorly-timed emails, phone calls and meetings are detrimental to productivity. Consider setting up a no-interruption zone in the office, or simply allow your team to put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign when they need to focus.

Team members: better communication doesn’t mean more communication, so restrict yourselves to sharing only the right info with the right people. Avoid communicating through more than one channel for the same task so you can find all the info in one place. Still feeling overwhelmed? Take a communication detox to unplug and reset – sometimes we really just need a break.
Where credit is due
When everyone feels under-appreciated…

Managers:
 as your team grows and tasks multiply, it’s easy to lose track of who’s done what. Try creating a peer-to-peer recognition system: invite everyone to write down others’ accomplishments in a book for you to review or even read out loud at the end of each week. It’s important to recognise the recognisers as well to promote this culture in your company.

Team members: make sure your boss is aware of your contributions by keeping her in the loop, even if she hasn’t assigned the tasks to you directly. Do pay attention to other people’s hard work as well and give genuine compliments – it’ll make them feel good and prompt them to do the same for you!


Looking for ideas to improve your work life? Check out these trending office perks that would help ease your stress.
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