For DVELP as a remote-first business, effective communication is important to function like a well-oiled machine! This blog post explores the dos & don'ts of communication with some helpful nuggets of information along the way.
It’s all too easy to either under-communicating or over-communicating. Find the time to reach out to your colleagues regularly, making sure that it doesn’t go longer than two days without communication. Equally, keep in mind that they may busy so be careful not to overload them with too much information! If you are new to the company reach out and get to know your colleagues. However this works both ways, so existing employees must also take the time to get to know who they are working with.
Top tip: If you are working alone you won’t have a “lunch buddy” or regular tea/coffee/water cooler chats, so use this time to reach out to colleagues and strike up a short conversation. Building a good rapport with your colleagues will encourage better working relationships!
Watch your tone and always reread your messages before hitting send. What may not have sounded blunt the first time may the second time round reading it. Also remember that working remotely means no visual or audible social cues are present. Many remote workers find using emojis can sometimes help humanise the conversation.
If you are busy, always notify people that you are and that you will get back to them in due course. If possible, please do not ignore people altogether, as this saves times for us all.
When you are using Slack, get into the habit of setting your status so that your colleagues are aware of whether it is a good time to get in touch.
It’s always useful to send any important information in an email too, ensuring vital information is not lost!
Finally, without stating the OBVIOUS, please do not use ALL CAPS! We don’t want appear shouty or angry.
The old fashioned saying “it takes two to tango” is very relevant in regards to communication! A person cannot expect excellent communication by relying on one person to be really good at it. It has to be reciprocated by the other person too. Both parties need to present and give undivided attention.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place” - George Bernard Shaw
Sometimes we think have sent the message or made that phone call and we haven’t, or in some cases we forget important details. Make sure you are clear with all you need to say. In some cases it can be difficult to understand what is being communicated to us. Don’t get frustrated or upset. Instead change the communication method, pick up the phone or have a video chat.
The four things you must remember when communicating are:
Use the Replay & Confirm Method, e.g. my understanding of what you just told me is X, so I’m going to do Y. Is this correct?
Here’s an example of the Replay & Confirm Method between Tom (our CEO) and me (Executive Assistant):
(As you can see this encourages forgotten details to be added as well as confirming understanding. Both parties understand what has been communicated and what has been asked.)
Hopefully after reading this and putting some of this into practice, you are left with stronger working relationships, fewer mistakes made, less time correcting errors, higher productivity and greater job satisfaction!