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3 Easy Strategies to Address Under-communication

April 11, 2017

3 Easy Strategies to Address Under-communication

Great teams thrive on frequent, meaningful communication. And depending on who you ask, they might consider good communication among the most important skills a person can possess. Here are 3 ways you can improve your team's communication when your team isn't communicating enough:

1. Start a regular stand-up meeting

Is your team made up of individual contributors? If so, it probably means you aren't seeing different parts of the project take shape in real time. If you're a manager looking to get an idea of what your team has been working on, consider holding a regular stand-up meeting. Stand-up meetings allow your team to individually present what they've completed since the last meeting, what they're working on for the next meeting, and what's holding them back. Some teams meet daily, but your team may only need to meet once a week. Never held a stand-up? Here are some best practices for stand up meetings, and here are some great tips on deploying agile and kanban methodologies.

2. Keep your meeting time sacred

There's no point in setting aside meeting time if you're not going to stick to it. And starting meetings late can be a big drain on your company's resources. Make sure that meeting times are sacred - that means no one schedules a conflict during the meeting, and the meeting starts on time. One missed meeting could be the difference between having your team on the same page and having your team all over the place. Meetings that start late are 8% less effective.

3. Be Mindful of Communication Preferences

Different team members want to communicate in different ways. It could be that an under-communicating team member just has a different communication preference from you. This applies to both the channels certain team members prefer, as well as the way in which your coworkers communicate within that channel.

Learning how your team members prefer to communicate will make it easier to increase communication frequency and quality. Consider whether a coworker prefers 1:1 communication to speaking in front of a group, or if your coworker prefers to communicate via writing instead of face to face. Knowing those preferences will streamline communication and make it easier for each team member to contribute.

These 3 tips should help you get more information from under-communicating team members. By creating a space designed for them to communicate, holding that time open, and reaching them in-between meetings on their preferred communication channel, you're well on your way to a more communicative work environment. If you're looking for more tips, we have this guide with 7 Ways to Communicate Better with Your Coworkers.