In today’s ever connected world, the desire and need to communicate with people afar has never been so important as it is today. Communication is a complex thing. It can be verbal, non-verbal, visual (our favorite!) and written. All are key to a happy, healthy workplace. Vital to happy, healthy relationships. Yet when we’re doing it at a distance, barriers start to pop up.
With more and more remote working becoming the norm in the workplace, teams are now often in various different locations, different time-zones making things tricky. According to recent estimates from Gallup & the Burau of Labor Statistics, 22% of Americans now work from home full-time whilst almost 50% are involved in remote working or virtual teamwork. It’s no wonder why increasing the effectiveness of communication with people when at distance is so important especially when projects and businesses are counting on you to deliver.
Here’s our top 3 tips on how to keep your remote communication effective…
Don’t overload employees.
100 years ago, it was just a letter. Nice and simple! Today, we’ve got emails, texts, phone calls, video calls, instant messaging and so on. The beauty of these forms of communication is that it gives you a direct line of contact between you and the recipient. It doesn’t mean that they are required to respond as soon as they receive it. This behaviour can be viewed as dominant and can often make people feel uncomfortable. This is the same for workplace environments as well as outside of work too.
If here is one communication skill you should be aiming to master, listening is the one. Listening is one of the most important communication skills you can have. Good listening skills leads to better customer satisfaction, greater productivity and fewer mistakes so it’s no wonder why many employers actually provide listening skills training to their employees. When putting points across, we need to feel like the person understands. And to do that, they need to listen.
Questioning is actually a crucial skill and many people don’t realise how important questioning can be. Especially when communicating remotely. When communicating remotely, you need to be able to understand someone’s message correctly. If you don’t, then you can spend all-day worrying about something you didn’t quite understand. All because you didn’t ask a question of clarification for example. It’s also a great way to get more information out of someone about a particular topic, or simply keeping the conversation going.
Admittedly, for many of us improving our communication skills is an ongoing process and you become better at these things over time. Improving your communication skills will improve all of your relationships, whether at home or in the workplace so it’s important to invest some time in improving. Especially when you are communicating remotely. Think about your message and how your communicating it, listen more to what is being told and question everything.