George Bernard Shaw once said “…..the single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place”
In a connected world having real relationships are hard – some people you will work with have only ever lived in the digital age – so the way they communicate, their needs and their wants are different. In a recent talk by Simon Sinek he talked about how socially disconnected our connected society is. This got me thinking about work in general – how can we work better to understand the teams we work in and understand how they need and want to communicate.
If we look loosely at the “connected” world it means working in teams where other people communicate in a different style that is more complicated than a thumbs up or thumbs down… it can sometimes be tricky.
Communication and collaboration go hand-in-hand
Looking at the microcosm of our team at Sqware Peg and using a tool called the Predictive Index we have been working hard to understand the communication style of our teams better – and this has already brought to the table some positive outcomes by identifying the individuals communication style and empowering them to embrace it.
People who are not as comfortable with analysing their communication style have found this process hard – admitting and articulating what you need from communication can be difficult but ultimately makes a team stronger. Team members who can articulate the way they need to be communicated with means that both sides of the communication are clear about what they want and what the expected outcome needs to be. When you remove the “noise” of miscommunication with your immediate team, and you all start to work towards communicating effectively the work world suddenly becomes calmer easier and far more productive.
Understanding the way people behave and need to communicate inherently can also lead to us helping them to make better connections in the roles they fulfil at work. For example, using the PI if someone identified as a “big picture” thinker, asking them to work on the minutiae details of a procedure might not yield the best results. Similarly, if a team member who needs details and needs to do know the “why” may be challenging if given an ambiguous instruction.
Communication plays a fundamental role in all facets of business
Working in Professional Services it is essential to have a team of consultants who have finely tuned communication skills. By implementing the Predictive Index it has made it easier for us to understand the communication style of every team member from the top down. We use it to help us understand the people that we work with, and for them to understand us, from the first interview with a potential Sqware Pegger all the way through their career here. It is our go- to tool when we set up a new project so that we can understand how the selected team will work best together – because we know fantastic communication is the fundamental to project success.
We have all heard the quote by Sir Richard Branson “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t have to” investing in your teams communication skills is one of the best investments you will make. Not only will it be something that enhances your business it will be a legacy that they take with them and use throughout their career.