Innovation Challenge #2: How to Become Better Communicators

Communication is one of the most empowering and effective tools your team will ever need. Listening to and being understood by your team, expressing needs/expectations and working together to skirt challenges, can positively influence your team’s capacity for innovation.

You can always improve upon your communication and productivity. Here are the best ways to do so within a team dynamic.

  1. Build rapport to encourage trust.

Building rapport will increase the willingness of individuals to listen and try to understand one another. This is the foundation of many relationships. Taking interest in your team members and getting to know them on a personal level shows you care about who they are outside of work and will help you find ways to connect and understand their ideas. Having a positive connection will build trust in the long run and make it easier when sharing ideas and problem solving – which can eventually lead to innovation.

  1. Be clear and assertive.

Don’t leave any room for miscommunication. Expressing yourself about a project or letting someone know there is an unfulfilled need is the best way to get results from your team. Giving constructive feedback and also opening the door to receive feedback will keep the lines of communication open and help everyone work toward the end goal – together.

  1. Plan ahead for tough/awkward conversations.

In any team dynamic, certain personalities won’t always work well with others. In the event of possible confrontation, key points to communicate should be planned ahead of time. This will help from speaking out of anger or resentment and get to the source of the issue so it can be resolved quickly. Being tactful when expressing a concern to a team member can keep the business relationship positive and refrain from any unpleasant feelings.

  1. Create an agreement together.

Outlining responsibilities, rules and deadlines for projects can keep everyone productive and empowered to do their part to reach the team’s goals. The will also help individuals recognize when certain benchmarks haven’t been met. By knowing what is threatening productivity, team members can actively support each other and discuss tactics to get back on track.

With these helpful tips for increasing effective communication skills among team members, innovation is sure to follow. Once team members learn how they best operate and understand the strengths of individuals, it opens the door for more colorful and productive work to be done.