The deadline is quickly approaching and you want to get your hands on the report to ensure that all the numbers and data are in line, the analysis is on target, and that all the t’s are crossed and the i’s are dotted. You are stressed in your job to the max. You stop by your employee’s desk expecting to find her feverishly working on the last-minute details and edits, but instead notice that she is checking her Facebook newsfeed. Fighting panic, you calmly ask her about the project. Her response is your worst nightmare. “You didn’t set a timeline on that, and I didn’t realize you meant you needed it now…”
Whoa. Did that just happen? After you manage this crisis situation, it’s time to do a little self-reflection on where the miscommunication happened. Clearly YOU knew the urgency for this report, but that information was not communicated to your staff as effectively as you presumed it was. The problem is that you have a work deadline to meet. What can we learn from this situation? And, how can you as a leader take steps to improve your verbal communication to prevent disastrous breakdowns before they even happen?
Increasing the effectiveness of your verbal communication with your team takes a concerted effort. As a leader, it is your job to drive conversations to be effective and ensure that your team has the information and resources they need to be successful in their job. By using these five simple methods to increase your verbal communication and soft skills, your team can increase its productivity and decrease the unnecessary stress and panic born from a dreaded communication breakdown.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.