How to improve your communication skills and motivate your team

Today’s work culture in most economies in the world requires team leaders to motivate their team members at all times. It is nearly impossible these days for employees to work optimally and reach deadlines when they feel unappreciated or under-motivated, even as much as today’s labor market has more dynamic, educated and skilled individuals than in the past. If you want to motivate your team members to think creatively and give their all towards a project, you must work towards improving your communication skills.

Effective communication is the most impactful personal skill on your career success. It is your ability to communicate effectively with team members that determines the level of faith your subordinates have in you and the level of trust that your bosses have in your ability to lead. Perhaps that is why Steve Jobs, Jack Welch and Jeff Bezos, among other renowned corporate leaders, all share a common trait: they all possess outstanding communication abilities. Here are seven ways you can improve your communication skills so that you can meaningfully communicate with your team members and propel them forward on the path of success.

1. Hold regular meetings

Meetings and get-togethers are the best avenues for motivating employees. You are able to communicate your ideas better when you are at a round table with all concerned parties, unlike when you send memos and emails to individual members. This is especially vital if you are leading a newly-assembled team, or when you have been charged with the responsibility of inducting new employees into the company. Communicating face-to-face in meetings or team-building events helps you build a good rapport between you and the team. Your employees feel valued as a result and that will motivate them to utilize their skills and talents more for the benefit of the entire team.

2. Give positive feedback

One of the most useful coaching styles that you can use as a corporate leader is to always find reasons to give positive feedback and coach them on how to improve. Many leaders underestimate the power of positive feedback, but you should not. Be slow to point out to a team member when they make a mistake and quick to acknowledge them when they do something impressive. Also, try to relate to them and understand their personal life. and advise them on matters of life that you have had experience with and could guide them to make good decisions.

3. Reinforce your message with stories

Start by gaining clarity on what members of your team most need to hear. With that knowledge, craft a message that captures the key points, and then reinforce it with interesting and relevant stories. Storytelling has been an integral part of humanity since time immemorial. People have always used stories to illustrate facts and figures in a way that others will understand. Stories help your team members remember your message clearly and for longer durations. The stories can be about something you experienced back when you were starting out in the industry, about how your brand became what it is now, or even how your customers’ needs have evolved over time. The stories don’t necessarily have to be related to your business. It can even be fiction provided that it is relevant.

4. Perfect non-verbal communication

Nonverbal communication accounts for more than 50 percent of how your team members perceive your communication abilities. Learn to pose confidently when standing in front of your team. Avoid folding your arms or leaning on a desk. Don’t slouch or humble yourself too much as that could send the wrong message that you are weak. Make yourself appear bigger physically than you actually are, move around the space, and fill up the available floor space, but be careful not to appear like you are boasting. Remember to maintain eye contact at all times.

5. Work on your written communication

Your written message needs to be complete, concise and accurate. You should focus on writing emails and instructional manuals so that each one of your team members will be able to easily understand your guidelines.

6. Purpose to keep your team members informed

You will boost employee productivity by sharing with them all the important facts and stats about the department or the entire company. Make them feel like they are part of your establishment; part of a project that is bigger than any individual. Updating them on the company’s financial position, for example, makes them own both the successes and failures of the company.

7. Always be open to negative feedback

Receiving honest feedback from the members of your team should never be interpreted to mean disrespect. You will become a better communicator when you solicit feedback on a regular basis, both positive and negative.

Conclusion

Even the high performing employees require regular motivation and guidance from their seniors for them to continue performing optimally. Focus on how to set goals, assign roles and to communicate effectively.

Rilind Elezaj is a London-based devoted career specialist who trained at Animas Coaching – a UK coaching centre.

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