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How to better communicate with team members

Have you ever felt like you have the same conversations with your team members? It’s like you’re living in the movie groundhog day and no one seems to remember what you told them the day before.

We’ve been there too! Below are 3 quick tips that will help you navigate through communicating more effectively with your team.

Say it 7 Times

In the marketing world, there is a widely accepted saying; “Say it 7 times!” This repetition is necessary for consumers to become aware of your message. The same can be said for communicating with your team. When hearing something for the first time we begin to go through a step-by-step thought process. The more complex the information, the longer the process will take. The first stage is simple awareness, and it’s not until the second and third time we hear something that we move into thinking more critically. It is not until this further thinking occurs, that we are able to assimilate information and progress into actions. It might not always take 7 times to finally get your point across, but for good communication in the workplace, plan on saying it 7 times.  After you have communicated something with a team member 4 times, remind yourself, only 3 more to go!

Ask for a Repeat

How many times do we hear something, but don’t truly listen?  One extremely helpful exercise; have your audience repeat back to you, what you just told them.  As a parent, I love using this when talking with my children. It’s amazing how many times they are unable to repeat what I just said, even though they promised they were listening to me. I must say, I too have also fallen short of being able to repeat what someone just said to me if I am not actively listening. Let’s face it, we are all busy. Slowing down to actively listen and process information requires intentional practice.

Do remember to be cautious with this aspect of communication; you need to be tactful with this verbiage to ensure that it comes across as helpful. Here are a few suggestions;  “I want to  be sure I was clear in my communication and we are all on the same page, can you share your understanding of what I asked?” Or you might try “Let’s be sure we are on the same page, please repeat back to me the action items I just assigned to you.” Be sure to then follow up with the following question, “Do you have everything you need to be successful?”

Use Personality Assessments

Here at ACT Dental we firmly believe that good communication with employees and coworkers is essential to a healthy culture in the workplace.  Our best practices include utilizing a personality assessment called DiSC in order to understand how each individual processes information, what motivates them, and how to effectively ask them questions. Each different personality style has its own set of unique priorities and abilities. When each team member takes the assessment, you will understand on a deeper, more personal level, how to communicate with each individual. In addition to improving your own communication, you will also give your team the ability to communicate at a higher level with each other.

Intentionally implementing these game-changers will help you and your team to transcend into another level of effective communication.

About the Author:  Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental. She is also a dental hygienist, motivational speaker, and writer. With over twenty years of serving in different roles in dentistry, she combines her experience to provide our community with best practices for a better life.


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