How to Improve Your Communication While Working Remotely
Surveys continue to be conducted to find out where remote employees want to work going forward. One survey indicated that 97% of employees do not want to return to the office full-time. Instead, they want flexibility between working remotely and working in an office. Other surveys are similar.
This means that the days when teams worked physically side-by-side, lived in the same city, and often ate at the same restaurants are most likely gone. Now, teams spread out across different sites and geographies may continue to meet virtually and may never meet face-to-face.
20% of remote workers have difficulties with communication
Communicating in general is challenging. Throw remote teams into the equation and effective communication just got a lot tougher. Collaborating and building relationships is hard when communication is based on technology as well as different personality types and communication styles.
We all have different personalities and ways of engaging, influencing, negotiating, convincing others, and voicing opinions. These differences are found in any workplace and can lead to miscommunication, a lack of understanding, and decreased engagement.
Body language and tone carry a lot of weight when communicating. This means that message clarity is often lost when information is not transmitted in-person. To build trust and rapport, it is therefore critically important that remote teams learn how to communicate effectively with one another. Personal and organisational success depends on it.
1. The first step in closing the gap
The first step in closing the communication gap is for each team member to understand his or her own personality and communication style. Not everyone works, thinks, or communicates the same way.
This can easily be accomplished by having each member complete a scientifically based personality and communication style assessment. This will clearly show an employee the differences in what they think about themselves and what the assessment says. This is a crucial baseline to improving communication, collaboration, and performance amongst team members.
For example, you may have two team members who are working closely together on an important project. However, communication is breaking down due to their different personality traits and communication styles, and project completion is in jeopardy.
Difficulties in communication usually arise because of the personality differences in individuals.
Let’s have a look at this example.
2. Two team members – two different personalities
Team member John is very detail oriented and factual. He will ask in-depth questions and appreciates well thought out details. His priorities are maintaining traditions and standards, ensuring accuracy, and making decisions based on complete information. He likes quiet time alone each day and likes to think deeply about an issue.
His project team member Bill has a totally different personality, and details and procedures are not as important. He has a very friendly and enthusiastic way of communicating and wants to talk about John’s ideas and get to know him as a person.
What do John and Bill need to do to close the communication gap?
Both men will need to make some behavioural adjustments when communicating with each other. Detail oriented John will need to use a friendly style when communicating with enthusiastic Bill.. He will need to make concessions to satisfy Bill’s desire to achieve consensus and take the time to socialize a little before getting down to business.
When working with detail-oriented John, Bill will need to be prepared to discuss the details of his proposals and use a more conservative and factual style when communicating. Bill will need to come to meetings prepared and keep small talk to a minimum. He will also have to respect John’s privacy and not take up too much of his time.
3. Share the results and build stronger teams
Communication powers team productivity. Not understanding the traits of others or what is important will hinder collaboration and drive work to a halt.
An excellent team building exercise to improve communication is for the manager to share the individual personality and communication assessments with the team. Sharing and discussing the results will not only help everyone better understand their own personalities and tendencies, but they will learn how best to interact with each other through their preferred ways of communicating.
Communication is one of the most important factors in team effectiveness, and one of the most challenging ones to get right — especially when they work remotely.
44% percent of people indicate miscommunication results in stress, low morale, and incomplete projects. Don’t let your team members get derailed.
Assessments are a powerful tool in closing the communications gap and strengthening team performance.
Drake New Zealand will Help you!
Want to understand yourself more and see how you communicate best with your colleagues?
The Drake P3 Team Communication and Team Analysis reports are powerful, scientifically based assessment tools to get your team members back on the communications track. While getting to know themselves better, they will also learn what communication style their co-workers prefer. For your new employees, providing them with a helpful snapshot of their peers will enable them to start communicating effectively from the very beginning.
Drake P3 for selection and retention
In addition to closing the communications gap, Drake P3 is also a powerful tool for your selection and retention process or selection, Drake P3 uses objective, scientifically based data to highlight traits, communication, and motivational needs. This information helps you differentiate candidates who do well in interviews from candidates who will do well in the actual position.
For retention, Drake P3 will profile your employees’ motivational, and engagement needs so you can assess and incorporate into your training and development processes to keep your valued employees.
To learn more about all the benefits of Drake P3 contact us today!