We do it every day, communicate. Whether verbal, digitally or writing a post-it, we ‘chat’ all the time.
Glow is a busy design studio, often with 100 live projects on the go at once. It’s high tempo and communication is often fast paced, but accuracy, is vital. Great communication not only saves time and money, it can save on undue anxiety too.
So, whether you are briefing on a project status, updating an important HR message, imparting new values or simply asking for a cup of tea, we’ve some top tips to help you communicate better:
Limit your email Cc’s
We’ve all been there, engulfed in an email trail…. it wastes time, fills your inbox and can be incredibly distracting. Email was first invented in 1969 and its capabilities, in line with today’s technology, hasn’t really grown with age. It still has its place when used wisely, but it is also overused and mishandled, especially when Cc’ing. First off, only Cc those who are necessary. If you need to send an email to many, ask them to just reply to you. Or before you send, find out who the lead is, the project manager, and email only them. An Out of Office will let you know if you need to forward on. If more of a discussion is required, use Microsoft Teams, Zoom or a meeting (when it’s safe 😊).
An email is never of ‘high importance’
(unless, that is if you need the emergency services, in which case call 999)
The thing is, you can never assume the recipient is available when you send your message. The receiver could be in a meeting or having their own emergency. So, if you really do have an urgent request (in business, this is quite rare) call the recipient or Cc* a couple of people in the team; if one is tied up, another person will be there to help.
*this is an example when a Cc is necessary.
Be crystal clear
What’s the purpose of your message? What outcome do you want? What do you want the recipient to do? A long email, WhatsApp or even call, outlining your thoughts or musings is of no use to anyone but you. Get it straight in your head, make it clear, put it in a spreadsheet or document then communicate with clear instructions. If you’re having trouble doing this, ask for a meeting or call to chat through the required actions and be clear of the agenda.
Pick your channel & check in on you
You’ll be astute to the many different channels of communication available. Is your message delicate? Is it light-hearted? Who is the audience? Is it private or critical/time sensitive? Just think for moment before you start your message; and ask yourself is this the correct channel for what you want to say? Also, just as important, are you in the right frame of mind to action this right now?
Cut out the jargon
You may talk the talk and know all the abbreviations, but consider who you’re speaking to – do they know? Tailor your content for each person you talk to. Using too much technical lingo may make you sound like you know what you’re talking about, but the recipient may be overwhelmed, confused and communication will be unclear – see point 3.
If you don’t already use Microsoft Teams, get on it. At Glow all our communication is on Teams. Project updates, Glow updates, news, requests for tea, every type of message. You can set up ‘teams’ & ‘projects’, add files, edit those files in live time, and probably most importantly, insert great GIFs too – we could all do with a smile at the moment, and a funny GIF can save the day. It also has a great mobile app, making communication and viewing documents on the go, quick and easy.
We love it so much, we’ve written a blog about ‘Why Microsoft Teams Works‘.
Finally, be kind.
This is simply, the best advice. Always be kind, polite and respectful. Be mindful of using humour or exclamation marks though; as both can be misunderstood!