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    Women Business Leaders: Use These 4 Steps to Improve Team Communication

    You can improve team communication by creating a consensus plan, defining communications tools, encouraging participation and leading by example.

    Technology tools open endless opportunities for global collaboration. But it’s important to have a communication plan in place to make sure all team members are on the same page.

    Communication expert Wayne Turmel outlined 4 steps women business leaders can use to improve team communication. Although it’s geared toward virtual teams, there are lessons in the article that can be applied to groups of any type:

    1. Build a communication plan together: Different people process information in different ways, so it’s important to build consensus to maximize the flow of information. A joint discussion can reveal preferences about issues such as email response time, who should be copied on emails, etc. Plus, if your team is consulted in the process of creating the plan, they’ll likely feel a greater sense of ownership and be more apt to follow the guidelines.
    2. Define your communication toolkit: Since there is now an array of communications tools available, including e-mail, videoconferencing and phone calls, find out which tools your team members prefer. Ask about training needs and explore emerging collaboration methods. As a woman business leader, you can coach your team to get the best results.
    3. Monitor adherence to the plan: Once you and your team agree on a plan, make sure everyone sticks to it. If you’ve scheduled conference calls, thank those who attend and follow up with those who miss meetings. Take a look at your team collaboration message board if you’ve established one. Make note of who participates – and ask those who do not to provide their input.
    4. Be a good role model: The most effective way to encourage your team members to adopt the communication plan is to use it yourself. As a woman business leader, you set the tone. When your staff sees that you are consistently using the plan, they’ll know it is a vital part of team operations.

    Read more about this in Wayne Turmel’s recent BNET article

    Summary

    In a fast-paced business environment, communicating with your team can make all the difference. To foster open communication at your company, build a consensus communications plan, define your tools, make sure employees stick to the plan and use the plan yourself to establish credibility. These 4 simple steps can provide a competitive edge for your enterprise.

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