It’s impossible to miss the vital role communication skills play in our lives.
Take my weekend, for example.
Most Saturdays, I like to head down to my local Parkrun.
It’s a weekly 5km run organised by a team of volunteers allowing anyone and everyone to join in.
Everyone is there to encourage each other regardless of time.
People feel safe and supported.
It’s known as psychological safety.
A term used in business psychology to describe all of the above, and regarded as the number one factor that will determine a team’s success.
So, how can businesses work towards creating such an environment?
Here are three steps to help you achieve this.
“I think this blog might prove sort of useful to some of you, hopefully.”
Feeling inspired? I doubt it!
The problem there is I have completely diluted my message with watering down words.
It lacks belief.
I would encourage you to use the language of leadership.
Instead of thinking this is the best strategy to use, let’s believe it.
When using stronger language you can communicate a stronger message.
“I will try to answer questions you might have about communication.”
Try? That means I may fail to answer them, or even avoid them.
Remove the try.
Just do it.
So often we see politicians dodging the question, instead trying to squeeze in some message they’ve been told to say.
We need to give a direct answer to a direct question.
By doing this with openness and honesty, we create trust.
One of the key ingredients of psychological safety and good communication skills.
Once you’ve given a direct answer, we can go on to include some key information.
“This blog won’t take up too much of your time. It won’t be boring. I’m not too inexperienced to give this advice.”
You’d be forgiven for thinking this will go on too long, it will be boring and I’m lacking experience.
I just told you all those things, or at least, I put them in your mind.
If I told you not to think of a pink elephant, I put that image in your head.
Instead let’s switch this language to become more positive.
I encourage you to work towards a culture of psychological safety, in and out of work.
A key way to achieve this is by considering your communication skills and focusing on these tips above.
And if you’re looking for any more inspiration, pop on your trainers and get down to your local Parkrun.
I’ll see you there!
Stuart Fenwick is a Communications Trainer at Pink Elephant.
Read more about him here.
Photos in Communication skills: Three tips to help businesses thrive by Pink Elephant Communications.
Communication skills: Three tips to help businesses thrive blog written by Stuart Fenwick.
Communication skills: Three tips to help businesses thrive edited by Maxine Montgomery.
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