Most issues in the workplace and in our personal lives arise from either a lack of communication or simply miscommunication.
Seriously, think about it!
With the end of the year in our sights, it seems like a good time to look back on communication this year to see what went well and what needs work. Let’s go over some ways to clear up your communication to start 2021 in a better spot than 2020.
I’m sure there have been a couple of times during the work year that certain procedures or processes have left you confused or frustrated. Take a step back and think about what you can do to try and improve these processes. Maybe a project is going through too many people’s hands, or maybe the project is not being seen by enough people, and it’s affecting the project’s quality. Brainstorm with your team to see how your processes can improve to be as efficient and open as possible.
Speaking of processes, there is one specific process in the workplace that is worth a section all on its own.
Meetings are an important aspect of the workplace — gathering the team or company as a whole to make sure everyone is on the same page is good practice. But sometimes there might not be enough meetings, or vice-versa.
For every organization the “right” number of meetings is situational, so unfortunately, I don’t have a magic number that can solve the issue just like that. There are a variety of factors that will affect the quantity of meetings — projects assigned, deadlines due, and more.
But look back at the regularly scheduled meetings you’ve had this year and ask yourself: “Are we using everyone’s time effectively?” If so, great! If not, consider reexamining how frequently you’ll have each meeting. Maybe every week is too much, but every other week is perfect (or vice versa!). Talk with your team to see what they think is best, and then go from there. You might change it up and realize it’s not as effective as the previous schedule was, and that’s okay! Not every change will stick, but at least you tried!
Communication with Customers
Whether it’s your marketing material or support staff — you’re always communicating with your customers. Hopefully the communication is going well, but there will always be room for improvement and reflection. Get your team together to go over communication that can be cleared up or improved on with the new year. If you’re looking to get feedback from your customers, maybe implement a CX tool to see how you’re doing and where you need to improve.
Individual Communication Skills
I often take a look back on times when I was involved in a miscommunication conundrum and wonder what I could’ve done better. I think it’s healthy do that, not just with communication, but with life. Look back and see what you could’ve done to improve a situation. We’re humans, we’re fallible beings, so there are always going to be mistakes made.
I’d recommend everyone to look back at some communication mishaps that happened in 2020 and think about what could’ve been done better. What could you have done to solve the problem or prevent the problem?
2020 had all of us making significant adjustments on the fly, so there were bound to be instances of miscommunication. Hopefully 2021 is better for everybody and some of the communication errors we experienced this year won’t happen next year. And remember that when you make some changes, they might not all work out. That’s okay! Not everything is going to be a home run, but making an effort to clear up communication at the start of the new year is a great way to start 2021.
If you’re looking to clear up more than just communication before the New Year, read this blog about clearing up data collection.