Communication with the team - orders or requests? - NS. II

Service Business

Giving orders, transferring requests - communication with the team

The position of a leader or a boss is inseparably connected with giving orders. It seems to be so normal and everyday that we do not focus on issuing commands. This is a mistake - yes, the boss is one and yes, his opinion is the most important. However, this does not change the fact that in order to be a good leader, you do not have to rule with a hard hand, but rather communicate with the team - and it is worth equipping yourself with a good ability to issue commands. So how should communication with the team look like?

First - brightness and clarity. It is not the fault of the recipient that he did not understand the message - it is up to the sender to formulate it in such a way that it is surely accepted by that one specific person. Therefore, it is extremely important in communication with the team to give orders in such a way that the subordinate has no doubts as to what, how, with whom and when to perform. Of course, it's hard to build such a message on the go - that's why it's worth building it beforehand, at least at the beginning. Think and write down all the data about a specific task or project, and only then - pass it on to the employee. And make sure he understood - this can be done simply or by asking to be repeated. It is also a good idea to provide the employee with written guidelines for the assignment (especially if it is a long and multi-dimensional project). Then the subordinate always has the opportunity to refer to the written version, and does not have to go to the boss with every doubt.

Second - culture. The fact of having a superior role in the company does not absolve the leader from treating others with respect. Appropriate addressing of subordinates, in accordance with the principles of ethics and good manners, is always required, but especially when issuing orders. Therefore, the well-being of your employee should always be taken into account, and commands should be formulated in a conditional manner, as a question or request. The sentence "Could you do this by Friday?" or "Would you be able to do it like this?" sounds much better than "Do it for tomorrow". Everyone knows that the weight is actually the same - the question "Could you?" it is rhetorical when asked as a boss, but has a completely different meaning.

Thirdly, communication with the team should be based on initiating employees not only in the secrets of individual projects, but also in wider information. It is not necessary to immediately reveal the company's capital and the list of debtors - it is more about justifying the tasks ordered. The awareness of doing something constructive that benefits the entire company gives the employee a really high motivation to act.However, if he does a piece of work in a larger team and does not know how, to what extent and whether his activity is valuable for the company, the enthusiasm for work decreases. Since it is not known whether the game is a candle, it is not worth trying.

Communication with the team - how to criticize and how to praise?

Once the tasks have been distributed and the instructions given, there is nothing else to do but wait for the team to work. When we receive them, we should take a good look at them and - what next?

Employees who perform their tasks in the company deserve feedback. If the leader sees that something in the team is failing or is not being performed as it should be, the situation should be investigated immediately and the employees should be informed. Otherwise, there's no way an employee doing something wrong can correct their behavior - if they think they're working well, why change it? Therefore, the second type of message leaders must use when communicating with the team is praise and criticism.

In both cases it is essential to rely on facts. In the case of praise, we praise something specific - a good project, outstanding results, big profit for the company. In case of criticism, it is also necessary to indicate what is wrong. If we want to draw attention to the employee that he is late, we cannot - as indicated above - say "You are much late". You have to observe what it actually looks like for a while and then say, "You were late yesterday, Monday, and Thursday last week."

Praise can be expressed on the forum - on the one hand, it ennobles the employee and makes him or her a role model for the rest, on the other - it mobilizes other team members to act. Thanks to the fact that we praise for something specific (fact), and not simply, positive feedback should not be perceived as highlighting one employee and putting them as a pet, but as a well-deserved reward.

Criticism should never be submitted in the forum - to provide negative feedback, the employee should be invited to the office. Even the most skilfully expressed, justified and non-attacking criticism is usually hard to swallow, so you should not stress the employee in addition to the fact that other team members are witnesses of it. Such public stigmatization would undoubtedly have a negative impact not only on the relationship between the leader and subordinate, but also on the employee's self-confidence in the workplace.

How should the message by which we convey our criticism be structured? As indicated earlier - it must be based on facts, without generalizing. Secondly, the employee should not be attacked - that is, you have to talk about your own feelings and not about the qualities of the other person (see: message me). Saying, "You're late," sounds like an accusation with which there's virtually nothing to be done. So you should say, “I noticed you were late five times in the last two weeks. It worries me because it delays the day-to-day work of our team. " It is worth noting - we justify our feelings with a specific fact, a consequence that arises from the event. Summoning an employee only to tell him that his behavior upsets us or upsets us is pointless - because our emotions and feelings are only ours. There is nothing the employee can do about them - he can promise not to be late again, but will that make any nervousness or anxiety go away automatically? Not. Therefore, proper communication with the team requires the leader to say what real impact it has on the team and work - e.g. we are late with the report every day. Something can be done about this real event.

After reporting the criticism, ask the employee why this has happened or is happening. It may turn out that the subordinate has a specific explanation, but it may also be that he does not see the problem ("I'm late, but I'm doing all my chores anyway"). After explaining, when we have a clear view of the situation, you can start solving the problem. It is worth doing it together with the employee, suggesting suggestions themselves or only directing them to appropriate solutions.

If the criticism works, be sure to let the employee know that the change is noticeable. You can say that the problem has been solved, that we are happy with the improvement, or that the improvement is simply visible. The most important thing is to provide such feedback.

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Team communication - what obstacles do you have to watch out for?

Excellent communication with the team is not only the ability to build appropriate messages and create situations in such a way that the reception is as good as possible. There are also some barriers in communication with the team that are difficult to overcome. Obstacles can prevent even the best prepared leader from being able to join his team. What then do you have to watch out for?

Communication barriers are divided into three categories - physical, semantic and psychological. The most noticeable and easiest to eliminate are the obstacles in group one. Physical barriers are all external disturbances, independent of the sender or receiver. So it will be noise, heat, crowd, uncomfortable chair - everything that distracts you and prevents you from focusing on the message. Fortunately, most of the distractors from this group can be eliminated - go to another room, ventilate, ask to go to the site. What's more, adults are largely able to ignore distracting elements - yet you shouldn't overuse your teammates' patience and perseverance by speaking for hours in an un-air-conditioned hall in the middle of summer.

Semantic obstacles are a very interesting group - it is about linguistic and cultural misunderstandings. Most often, such barriers are associated with relationships between people from different countries and different cultures, but they can also appear in a company consisting only of people from the same country. It is enough for one person to be a specialist in a field in which their colleagues do not fully know each other - specialized vocabulary may turn out to be an insurmountable barrier.

The third group of barriers is the most difficult to eliminate - psychological barriers. This group includes all prejudices, stereotypes and also negative attitudes. Most often, such barriers do not arise based on rational thinking, but arise from emotions. As already indicated above - emotions are very hard to fight. Therefore, it sometimes turns out that the contact, which should be problem-free on the surface, may turn out to be completely unproductive.

Team communication is essential for a venture to function well. Therefore, the knowledge of the principles of effective communication should be one of the competences of a good leader. The big advantage of these skills is that you can simply learn them.