3 Communication Mistakes That Hurt Your Startup
Creating a startup can be both rewarding and exciting. It can also be challenging, putting your communication skills to the test.
When you start hiring people to work in your office, you’ll need to get a quick handle on your communication skills. For a good portion of time, you’ll be the only one delegating tasks and assigning responsibilities. In order to support your employees in meeting your expectations, your communication needs to be strong and clear.
Increase Internal Communication to Avoid Breakdowns
Breakdowns are an inevitable part of life, especially in business. But some breakdowns can be easily prevented through effective communication.
Uncertain responsibilities, reporting relationships, and indecisive leadership are all breakdowns that can be avoided through clear communication.
According to ShiftPlanning, efficient internal communications can increase your productivity. This could include simplifying your messages, being clear about project communications, and eliminating jargon.
Here are three, practical tips to strengthen your internal communication:
1. Clarify Project Communications with Deadlines
Part of having clear, internal communication is attaching due dates to every task you assign. Also, being clear about what the task is and any expectations you may have for how it will be completed.
While it isn’t your job to tell your software programmer which programming language to use for a given project, it is your job to give them enough information that will allow them to select a language that will best support your vision.
A due date is specific
An effective due date comes with a specific date and a time. Many tasks may not be a priority, but telling your employees something is due “whenever” just about guarantees it will never get done. The task will likely be scribbled on a piece of paper and left in the corner to collect dust.
You can’t be upset when your staff forgets about tasks that didn’t have deadlines. If you want tasks to be completed, you need to communicate a clear deadline.
2. Don’t Be Vague or Ambiguous
Don’t make the mistake of being ambiguous with the tasks you assign to your employees. Being vague means they’ll spend unnecessary time trying to figure out what you really need—time they could have spent completing their tasks.
Be as clear as possible when assigning tasks and projects to your team, and always remember to allow them time to ask for clarification.
You’ll also want to encourage your staff to openly share when they don’t understand what they are being asked to do. It’s a common oversight to leave out important information when communicating tasks to other people. The more your staff understands what you’re asking, the more likely they are to complete their tasks to your standards.
Having a plan for communicating necessary information could save a project that is otherwise on a path to failure.
3. Eliminate Jargon Completely
Jargon is a collection of special words used by a specific industry that are nearly impossible for others to understand. Using jargon can make you feel special, but it’s really a waste of time in the office. Even Forbes agrees that jargon is not just useless in the office, but is unacceptable.
Remember that not everyone on your team is going to understand the real meaning behind the jargon you use. In fact, people tend to ignore words they don’t understand, which can lead to your instructions being misinterpreted.
Being clear and concise from the start will always be the best way to communicate with your team. They’ll appreciate your clarity and be much more productive in the long run.
If you want to increase productivity and decrease wasted time, you may want to consider revisiting the areas where your internal communication can be improved. With better communication, your team will be happier, your job as a business owner will be less stressful, and you may notice your projects getting completed in less time.