In our efforts to be productive, sometimes we cut corners, thinking if we can just push through to the end of the project we’re working on, everything will be okay. Oftentimes, we cut out important communication steps from our work routine, just to save a few minutes to get things done.
It’s important to keep in mind that sometimes, it’s better to add a few steps to our process of getting things done, in order to ensure that when we arrive at the finish line, all will be in good order.
Consider using the following communication strategies to get the results you desire:
- Get the specifics. Don’t make assumptions. Make sure you know the parameters of the project you’re working on by checking in with others you are working with. Determine the project’s requirements so you have a clear sense of how it should run from beginning, to middle, to end.
- Announce your plans. Let other people know what work you will be taking on. This way, they are clear your time is spoken for, and they know they can focus their own work efforts elsewhere. When we communicate our plans, we reduce the chances for misunderstanding and duplicating work.
- Be open about your lack of certainty when you feel unsure. Don’t be afraid to speak up when you don’t know how to proceed. Let other people help you. Don’t stay silent. Your efforts to minimize error and confusion will give you a much better payoff than hiding the fact that you are confused.
- Communicate clear start and end times to yourself. Decide what your intentions are for your work. Start with a sense of how the project should progress, including a list of intermediate deadlines to shoot for. Keep your end goal in mind at all times.
- Arrange for coverage when you cannot take care of things yourself. Be clear about the start and end of the period of coverage you will need. Check in before the start date, and thank the person who will be covering you once they have finished their period of coverage for you.
- Check in with people you are supervising or cooperating with mid-project to evaluate how things are going and to see if you can be of help. You’ll be able to avert problems from occurring by checking in with your co-workers. Making this extra effort to keep communication open will enable others to work at their best as well.
- Be in frequent communication with your calendar. Review your calendar to see what items need to be followed up on or dropped from your to-do list. Make sure your schedule stays clear of any clutter or distraction. Being mindful of how you are spending your time will enable you to work with less stress and more focus.
- Keep a running log of your communication contacts. This technique will take a few extra minutes of your time, but will give you the peace of mind of knowing what conversations you’ve had and what interactions you might expect going forward.
- Keep in touch with people you care about. Let’s remember to check in with those special people in our lives who might have nothing to do with our work. When we do this, we give ourselves a mood boost and strengthen our relationships.
When you take care of yourself first and keep yourself in good spirits, your work will tend to reflect your care and good attitude.
Use some or all of these communication tips to make your work easier to complete, quicker to finish, and of better quality. Minimize any potential areas of confusion in order to maximize your productivity. Remember that healthy communication habits are key for clarity throughout your day.