Great communication creates a great team

How do you rate your skills when it comes to communication? Where is your comfort zone? Are you always the lead of a conversation, happy with confrontation and wouldn’t bat an eyelid at public speaking? Or do you prefer one to one and intimate surroundings, which are generally more predictable and manageable? Whatever your style, as a business owner, great communication creates a great team and a great business. Don’t forget to share this article with your team too!

People management involves high-level communication

Even if your team consists of just you and the practice manager, developing a positive channel of communication that flows through your business will:
  • Increase productivity
  • Enhance results
  • Greatly improve the overall working environment
  • Reduce staff turnover
  • Create dedicated and motivated individuals who are proud to promote your brand, and
  • Develop your own personal skills

Which method of communication is best?

Of course, therw are many ways to communicate, especially nowadays, from emails, telephone, presentations, meetings, team meetings, social media and so on… Deciding which method is most effective depends wholly on the task in hand and the message that needs to be portrayed. For some things, email will absolutely suffice whereas for others even a phone call won’t be acceptable – it has to be a face-to-face meeting. Since the rise of email, many people hide behind this method of communicating, even if it would be more constructive and quicker to either pick up the phone or arrange a meeting. Carefully consider which method of communication will deliver the best outcome and get whatever the matter in hand concluded as simply as possible.

Dealing with different personalities

It’s only natural that everyone differs when it comes to communication style. Within a team there are often conflicts – for example, one person wants to “rule the roost” whilst others are tricky to get to contribute. As a leader it is important to be able to assess the style of each member in your team. This way you can start to build a good individual working relationship with everyone who directly helps you with your business, as well as nurture relationships between different team members who need to work together. Always encourage: • Clear, concise conversations and emails • Honesty and respect for all • A listening culture – not everyone talking at once

Practical tips to improve your communication

Making communication part of your daily or weekly routine helps give structure. Otherwise people have a habit of “getting busy” and important communications get brushed under the carpet. Use these suggestions as a starting point to ensure great communication within your business:

Hold daily or weekly team meetings

  • Make them structured with the same topics covered each time
  • Get a different member of the team to “chair” (lead) the meeting each time, so anyone who is a little shy, for example, will be gently encouraged to step outside their comfort zone and join in.
  • Include in the meeting an element of project / task planning so everyone is kept up to date with who is doing what and when and becomes accountable for their workload. Team meetings are great for sharing information like this – discuss it once with the whole team rather than 10 times with each individual or waste time with long email threads.
  • Get everyone involved with making suggestions to improve the business operations – even some of the more inexperienced members of the team may have great ideas because they see tasks from a different perspective.

Make regular staff appraisals part of your “offer” to your team

  • Set personal goals for the next period for everyone, including you. Ensure the goals contribute to the business operations and give your employee the chance to learn new skills. Make it a win-win!
  • Build in part of the review for your employee to pass feedback regarding you and your working style. Some may resist at first however, with an open and honest channel to provide constructive feedback, everyone should be able to respectfully communicate how they feel improvements can be made.

Organise a team “day” at least once a year, with a mix of:

  • Work related business planning, to gather ideas for the year ahead. Get everyone to share their strengths and weaknesses, loves and frustrations, as well as get them to commit to how they want their role to develop.
  • Also include, team-building activities / games too. Get people used to taking to each other!
Great communication is a skill many dental and medical practice owners struggle with. This isn’t usually because their communication is poor – put them with a patient and their conversations are perfect. It is usually the fact that they are under pressure for time. Make time to communicate with your team though – it will make a real difference to everyone! Figurit provide tips regarding ways to improve your business operations on our blog. We are happy to help discuss ideas or problem areas to give a different perpective. Call today. T: 020 7376 9333 E: info@lansdellrose.co.uk

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