Effective communication is essential in leading your team, and there are various ways on what’s needed to have this type of communication.
The goal when communicating to your team, is to not only have them understand what you’re asking them to do, but to have them actually act on it— and act on it consistently.
This requires a single important thing on your part.
Many leaders have commented, and studies have reported, that repetition is key to lasting communication. It’s believed that it can in some cases take up to eight times for a person to fully absorb something, where they can act on that information in a consistent way. This means that repetition is very important. Let’s break the concept down into a smaller example.
Think of something you want your team to get done within a single week, or even a day. Imagine how you would already go about it, based on your past experience, if you were determined to have the task finished on time and properly.
You would certainly have to go speak with a single person to talk about the task, what is needed, and when it’s due, but you also might need to follow up by writing an email. As the week or day continues, you also may instinctively check in with that person to see how they’re progressing and include some affirmation to pep them up or assure them of the great job they’re doing.
While you may think this behavior can come across as annoying, what you’re doing is making certain your team member truly understands the task at hand, and why it’s so important.
Even with the little things, you can see how repetition is valuable. For larger projects, and the most important endeavors your company faces, repetition is absolutely crucial.
What your company stands for, your unified mission, and the very bones of your organization, needs to be repeated all the time. Monthly or quarterly goals, large initiatives, and similarly business critical objectives need to be said and written over and over again— in your meetings, in emails, along with your affirmation, throughout slack messages, the awards you give, everywhere.
This Week’s Take Away
Create an outline for how you are going to communicate important information. You need to have an organized checklist, or established cadence, of how you disseminate and repeat important or business critical information.
So, the next time you find yourself saying “this is important”, you can pull out an easy to follow game plan to make sure you are effectively communicating that to your team— so they can act on it consistently.
It can be very simple and straightforward: first send an email, then a slack message, then record a video of yourself and send that. Then go around in person and give out high-fives and ask if everyone saw it.
Or you can schedule out your repetitions by weekday. Monday’s you’ll say it this way, Tuesday’s you’ll send it out that way, we’ll skip Wednesday, but Thursday you’ll remind everyone again with some affirmation.
This can even be scaled over a longer period of time, for a quarter by saying it in person one week, then scheduling an event where you’ll bring it on another week, and then plan an office potluck where you can discuss it in person individually with your team.
Be intentional with the way you communicate. Be repetitive, so your team can act on the things you ask them to do, in a consistent manner.