CommunicationThis week I am going a bit off piste, as I need to share some exciting news.  After being near on homeless for the last 2 months, our house extension looks like it is finally coming to an end.

It’s not quite how I expected to start married life.  It has certainly been an experience and taught me loads along the way but one thing in particular this week that made me smile was to do with communication.

Now I’ve only been married a few months, so I would like to think communication between myself and Mr Boyd is still pretty good.  But the other night we’re talking about tiling in the bathrooms and how we wanted the tiles to be set out.  With him being a Project Manager by day, he’s very organised and drew up a plan, setting out how the tiles were to be put up for our lovely Tiler, Peter.

We arrive onsite the next day and are talking to Peter.  I say that I want the tiles in our shower to be stacked, but Mr Boyd thought we’d agreed they would be staggered.  Poor Peter, you could see he was like a bunny caught in the headlights, not wanting to get in the middle of martial bliss:)

Anyways we finally agreed on stacked but it made me think that although we’d talked about how we wanted things, we still didn’t have the same picture in ours heads.  It just goes to show how easy it is to misunderstand what someone else means or you just see things differently.

So getting back on track and the reason for my blog this week is all about communication.  Interestingly it’s always in the top 5 things-to-improve list on any employee survey we’ve ever done @GoldHR.  And there’s a reason for this.

Most people don’t think about how they communicate.  Yet expect others to all the time.  It’s always something that someone else is doing badly.  Moi? Never! 

Think about it? You’re busy.  You’ve got a million things to do.  Who needs to think about how you craft that email out to everyone to ‘sell’ them the fact that you need them to let you know whether they’re coming to the Christmas Party.   I mean, they either want to come or not, right??

Well, yes and no. You might think that you don’t have to take as much care internally with your communications as if you were emailing or speaking to a client, but that’s where you are wrong.

Not only might some of your employees become your clients in the future (I know they have in several of the businesses I’ve worked with) but they are also the route straight to your clients and customers.  The people who can tell you what is really going on with your business.  The ones who can make the difference between helping or hindering you in your job.

Can you hand on heart say you have never had a short word unnecessarily with any of your colleagues?  Never ignored them when they were quite patently wanting to speak to you?  Been curt when all they wanted was to enquire as to the whereabouts of your boss?  Admit it. Because we all have.

Do yourself a favour and help improve your relationships within your business by treating everyone the same: colleagues, clients, suppliers, partners and customers.  But before you go trying to befriend all of them on Facebook and ‘liking’ everything they do, what I mean by this is build solid open relationships.

And how to you do that? Well you could try being:

1.    Consistent: Regular communication to the team builds up trust and puts you forefront in their mind.

2.    Open: This doesn’t mean spilling all trade secrets, but be candid about what you do know which will help them.

3.    Reliable: Do what you say you’re going to. Can’t get back to them with the query they’re after. Let them know what, why and when you will.

4.    Be a good listener: because everybody likes those…

If you want to make sure you don’t come a cropper, then the team @GoldHR can help. Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat to see how we help you improve your communication skills.