For some, working with a team is inherently easy. Everyone is looped into necessary communication, and all is right with the world. But for those of us who come from working primarily independently, there is a learning curve for joining a very team-oriented environment.
Part of DEVENEY’s “All In” motto for 2017 has been to research how other organizations, both big and small, communicate internally. This way, we can all learn from each other. In researching some best practices, here are some tips for professionals for improving internal communication:
1. Determine what methods suit your team best.
Depending on your team’s size and the existing methods of communicating, identify what works and what does not. Maybe company-wide emails don’t get read as often as you would like. Have you tried a group-text? GroupMe and an instant messenger app (#KreweDuDEVENEY loves IM!) might be good options to test. Or, perhaps a paper memo is easily executed on the company’s break room cork board. Out with the old and in with the new!
2. Stop analyzing and get curious.
During our annual CHARGE retreat in January, the DEVENEY team learned a lot about our personalities, energy levels and how we all best communicate as a team. Something that our presenter brought up that struck a chord with many was so simple, but so eye opening: “Stop judging and start getting curious.” Who would have thought? Ask questions, and you’ll stop wondering “why this” or “why that.” It will teach you not to take anything too personally; the situation could be that someone is just dealing with their own set of challenges for the day. This approach makes everyone happier in the long run.
Has anyone ever been punished for over-communicating? Ok, maybe I have. I was five, and all I wanted to do was fill the silence during a lengthy road trip. My mom said, “Lindsey. You have to be quiet for five minutes. Five whole minutes, and then you can talk again.” Can you guess what happened next? I watched every minute tick by on the dashboard clock – the LONGEST five minutes of my entire life, might I add. So, I suppose you could consider this over-communicating? It totally counts, right? Ha! You get the idea.
Have a doctor’s appointment? Have to take your dog to an emergency vet appointment? Or, maybe you forgot to set your alarm the night before and overslept. Keeping everyone in the loop is key for making sure client work is covered. Carbon copy (cc) everyone that could possibly need to know the information you’re sharing, and if they no longer want to be cc’d, the ball is in their court. They will alert you if you’re over-communicating.
If you’ve recently read a book or an article that inspired your internal communication, or if you want to share how you and your company maintain an efficient and effective internal communication process, tweet @DEVENEYnola using the #DEVchat hashtag.