Having an effective communication at work is necessary for the successful completion of a project.
When communication is good, it can improve the efficiency of work and the relationship of the people working on the project. However, if it’s bad, it would cause confusion, delays and probably more problems.
Basically, communication is the exchanging of information. It is important to convey your message clearly in order for the receiving end to understand it well. Unfortunately, not everyone is a good communicator but still, this is a skill that can be honed and improved through practice.
Here are some tips on how you can improve your communication skills:
Develop active listening as a habit.
Active listening is when you focus on who you are speaking to. It is not just trying to hear what they say but to understand what they are trying to convey. Actively listening shows that you are really interested in what the other person has to say and you are open to help them, when necessary, to achieve what they want.
When you are in a conversation, try not to interrupt the speaker or talk over them. This is not about you. Don’t listen to respond, listen to understand. If you only focus on what you have to say, you might not be able to hear some important points or the actual answer to your question. Focus on them, let them finish, and then ask your questions or respond accordingly. When clarifying, paraphrase to confirm if you understood the message correctly. Remember to use nonverbal cues like eye contact, nodding of the head to show understanding and leaning forward to show interest.
If you’re the one speaking, make sure to ask feedbacks or questions to confirm if the people listening to you understood your message as well.
Be clear and concise.
In the construction industry, it is important to be able to send your message clearly the first time for the project to be on time.
Imagine talking to a client and you start using jargon terms. They either say nothing at all because they didn’t understand anything or keep on saying ‘yes’ and you end up delivering something they don’t really want. The importance of effective communication is to convey and understand the message, not trying to impress the other party with cool words.
When talking to your subcontractors, keep your commands simple and short, for them to remember and understand more clearly. This would prevent making mistakes that might cause a bigger problem than expected.
Create a communication chain of command.
In construction, it is important to have a chain of command so everyone will know to whom they should report to and who will provide who with the right information.
Usually, information flows from the business owner to the project managers and then to the rank-and-file construction employees. This increase both operational efficiency and teamwork.
It is important that you teach your employees who they should contact and how to contact that person to ensure that information will not be missed and will go to the right person in a timely manner.
Improve your written communication.
To improve your written messages, first, you have to write it professionally… meaning no foul languages and no smiley faces. It works every time if you proofread all your written messages before you send them to make sure that you are sending the right message and it can be understood clearly. This will also keep you from having to repeat things in another email, over the phone or in person.
When writing long messages, divide them into smaller chunks so the people that are going to read them will have an easier time in taking it in. Use bullet points when sending too many information at once. Due to the fast-paced lifestyle we have nowadays, people will usually just scan messages if they’re “too long to read”. So again, make sure that you keep your message clear and concise.
Convey only what’s necessary.
Get your point across, but only the necessary ones. Sometimes we tend to give too much information that we end up losing the actual message that we are trying to tell. Also, don’t let your personal opinions interrupt the project unless if you think it would be beneficial to the completion of the project.
Keep everyone updated.
Since you are all working on the same project, it is important to keep everyone, including the owner of the project, updated with the possible changes and progress. This will make sure that your employees are doing their jobs right and on time. This will also improve your relationship with your customer as you are not leaving them out of their own building project.
As a bonus tip, it pays to document all written communication and save them for reference or in case there are disputes later on in the project. For oral communications or meetings, take notes of what was being discussed along with the date, summarize and send as an email for everyone involved in the project.
Effective communication is important for the success of a project. Without proper communication, problems occur which causes delay and confusion. However, if there effective communication through the whole team, everyone work more efficiently and projects will be done on time and on budget.