How to Communicate Effectively….
Oct 06, 2017
You may have seen the meme: Just survived another meeting that should have been an email.
Although the last thing anyone wants is unnecessary meetings, I also know that a long email conversation is the last thing our overflowing inboxes need, when a brief conversation could have done a quicker and more effective job.
Earlier this year we all had a communications training day at the Fitwise Offices. We looked at how it is important to move away from over reliance on emails. In some situations it is much better to actually speak to one another instead, and by employing active listening techniques we can benefit from being able to ask questions, pick up on body language and check understanding.
I think we all understood the above theory, however, in reality it is sometimes simply easier to send an email, that way we can speedily tick it off the to-do list and move on (until the reply bounces back). So the real question is how do we change our behaviour when it comes to communication?
Behaviour change takes both time and conscious effort. In the marketing team we ran a fun competition in order to make ourselves more mindful of how we were communicating. Instead of continuing to send emails the team were challenged to walk round the office and speak to colleagues instead. Every time they spoke to someone in place of sending an email they could write that person’s name on our whiteboard. We were all trying to speak to more people than our team members to ensure we were top of the leader board. After a few weeks we found this behaviour had become more of a habit. We were finding ourselves more readily going round and speaking to colleagues, instead of relying solely on emails.
That was just a fun way we tried to make ourselves more conscious of improving our method of communication, and we would be interested to hear how other teams have tried to change their behaviour when it comes to communication.
Now we have the hard task of making sure we continue what we have started as it is very easy to slip back into bad habits. So we must continue to remind ourselves to be mindful of the emails we send and to continue to speak to our colleagues.
Head of Marketing