Recently, I was listening to someone talk about their new mission statement and my ears perked up when he started talking about not being able to read another business’s mission statement on an elevator ride because it was too long. He pointed out that your mission statement needs to be clear, concise and to the point. No need for big flowery wording, no need to fill an entire poster with words that could become lost in translation. His speech reminded me that it is not only our mission statements that need to be clear, concise and to the point, our communication should be as well.
Many problems in the workplace come from bad communication. Staff members can misunderstand your point if you give directions while attending to other business or not encouraging questions. There are, however, many ways you can improve communication within your office.
- Speak clearly while making eye contact. Communication is not only about what you say. Your body language and eye contact can say whether or not you believe in what you are asking them to do.
- Give directions without talking over their heads.
- Encourage them to take notes. Not everyone can remember multiple directions; taking notes can help minimize a forgotten step in your process.
- Ask them to tell you what they understood. Sometimes you would be surprised to hear what other people heard you say.
- Encourage questions.