The leader sets the climate for how good, bad or indifferent the communication in the workplace is. Your personal style and the things you focus upon will dictate whether your team has open free-flowing communication, up, down and sideways. Below are a few of the elements you can control, no matter the style of organization you work for, and which will either help or hinder how actively involved your people are. People won't engage freely until they believe they can trust you and you have their best interests at heart. Do your people believe that you have got their back and you'll be there with them in good times and bad?
Do you people feel that if they come to you with 'bad' news or conflicting viewpoints that they won't be punished? Are you remote, sticking strictly to business, sitting in your office handing out work, kudos and brick bats? Or are you sitting in an open plan office, working with your people and knowing intimately what their frustrations and concerns are? If you are a leader who tends not to get to know people personally, and like to keep your distance, you will likely pay the penalty of having poor communication in the workplace. Think about it, if you have neighbors down the street that you barely acknowledge as you drive past their home, will they be there to support you in time of need? In addition, if you are having a 'tricky' conversation in YOUR office, the 'hidden' power is definitely with you - because this is your claimed territory - and walking and talking is a good way of busting this barrier. People will like and accept you, and are more likely to be engaged and participating when they feel they are liked and accepted. A mistake I've seen many leaders make is to assume that people 'get' the message the first time around. There are other businesses to business communication tools that are not freely available on the internet. Below are included some advantages that come with the use of online communication tools for businesses. An efficient business is the one that is able to respond to clients and other partners promptly. Firms that embraced the use of online communication tools lowered the cost of doing business drastically. Whether in email or in a meeting, communication is the underpinning of these product management activities. The link among communication, products, and business success is born out in a study by consulting firm Towers Watson.
With the sheer volume of emails, documentation, meetings, discussions, presentations, and phone calls, the time spent on daily communication often dwarfs the time for working alone on projects. With this staggering amount of time dedicated to daily communication—whether in meetings, on the phone, or by email—it’s vital to know whether the time spent was effective. For each of these, product mangers should ask themselves: Am I tailoring the message based on the audience? These activities and questions help move communication from a so-called soft skill to a tangible aspect of product management.
Before doing any assessments, most managers believe they’re decent communicators while they also on occasion admit to the need for improvement. Have you ever attended a presentation during which the speaker had everyone’s rapt attention from start to finish?
When in face-to-face discussions or meetings, become an active listener by providing your full attention to the speaker.
Avoid “data dumps.” Pare down and deliver only the information necessary for the recipient to understand the main point, make a decision, or take action.
Our brains produce the stress hormone cortisol during the tense moments in a story, which allows us to focus… Other neurological research tells us that a happy ending to a story triggers the limbic system, our brain’s reward center, to release dopamine, which makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic. On the other hand, implementing the four skills described above provide product managers a step up and help them seize each communication opportunity with vigor.
Visit our workshops page for information on how Speak and Write can help your team improve communication. About Speak and WriteSpeak and Write was founded in 1987 to meet the needs of organizations wanting to improve their employees’ business writing and presentation skills.


Armed with these ideas for team building exercises, you can create the best working culture for your business. Unlike the neighbor next door - that you regularly have barbecues with and your kids are friendly - if you have a time of need they will, in all likelihood, be right there for you.
And if people don't know you well they are unlikely to 'invade' your space and or feel comfortable bringing up and or confiding about 'issues'. Depending upon the situation, sometimes you'll need to reinforce the message in a variety of ways - verbally, written, video. Is what you are doing and the type of leader you are helping or hindering the open flow of communication in your workplace?
These include web video conferencing, Voice over IP (VOIP) and business class instant messaging.
Customer support; online communication tools enable firms to give 24 hour support to clients at very low costs.
Take an example of a firm that has branches overseas and wants to have a meeting of all branch heads. For example, the ability of an IT firm to offer remote support would attract potential clients even from far whose systems would need such support. For example, online support to a client with a minor issue is better than travelling to his or her premises to fix a problem that he or she would have fixed. We were there to discuss leadership training for his Silicon Valley high-tech company, and the focus that day was squarely on his product managers’ ability to communicate. Furthermore, they must document and present to senior management the business impact of their products, as a CEO would present corporate strategy to a Board of Directors.
Determining whether revenue grew from new products is easy, but knowing whether the communication related to a product launch was adequate or exceptional appears harder to discern.
Product managers should perform a self-assessment and survey stakeholders for each of these to create a baseline of performance.
But there’s a significant difference between being a decent communicator and an exceptional one. Have you been in awe of someone who could eloquently express ideas in documents and emails? Stephen Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People tells us, “We have such a tendency to rush in, to fix things up with good advice.
By doing so, your communication will be more thoughtful, appropriate, and successful in the end.
One occasion might call for an executive summary while another might require intricate details. Begin with a high-level overview of your ideas to orient your listeners before jumping into the supporting details. The longer the words and sentences, the harder the idea is to easily understand.   Business jargon is so overused that it actually prevents creative or original thought. Since communication ability is a yardstick for performance, and because people judge one another on the way they communicate, showing command of communication skills is crucial to a product manager’s job, products, and company. They consist of activities that build communication, promote problem solving and decision making, encourage adaptability and the ability to plan, work to build trust, and develop a cooperative spirit.
Build communication. Activities that develop open lines of communication and listening increase communication.
Encourage adaptability and planning. Survival scenarios work well to encourage planning and adaptability. The challenge with the open door is that you have an artificial barrier that people may not break. BUT you also do need to make sure that you have a quiet place that you can go to - to think and plan. Rather than sitting in your office, where the energy doesn't have anywhere to go, think about inviting the person to go with a walk with you. Be a leader who applauds your people's strengths and accepts their weaknesses and finds ways to work around them.
Can you see how by just softening the question a little you'll be more likely to keep the person engaged and less apprehensive?
Of great importance is the way it has revolutionised the ways businesses conduct businesses with each other.


Online communication tools enhance efficiency by, Instant feedback; less time is taken to respond to inquiries and complains.
Instead of each of them travelling to the headquarters, a video conference would be appropriate. Videoconferencing saves managers and sales executives’ time that would have been spent travelling. And since there are no corporate profits without successful products, communication skills had better be good.
Have you ever walked out of a meeting amazed by a person who brilliantly facilitated a difficult discussion? Show interest in what the person is saying, recap main points, and probe for more information. Unclear emails prevent stakeholders from understanding direction and taking specific action.
The team building exercises that promote these various skills are meant to be enjoyable and instructional.
Try games like telephone, where you sit in a circle and one person whispers a scenario into the ear of the next person, such as how an important report was not delivered to the president in time.
Used often in science fairs, the egg drop is a particularly effective activity for promoting problem solving. Announce a survival situation, such as the fact that everyone will be deserted on an island indefinitely. One of the most efficient ways to test the trust between two individuals is to have them protect one another physically.
Assigning employee teams to volunteer with charitable causes is the best way to encourage cooperation. Are you doing anything to support them overcome their challenges and build on their strengths?
Imagine this, your neighbor says to you when you first move into the street, "Look pop in whenever you want, we have an open house policy." Then they wander off and you see them occasionally to wave at or say the odd hello and natter about the weather - but it never goes further than that. That you have boundaries around what you share and that it is clear that you are the leader - even though you may often share your leadership with them.
Split the employees into two groups and have them rig up a package that ensures a raw egg doesn’t break when dropped from a distance.
Instruct the group to come up with a list of 15 items they must bring with them in order to ensure their survival.
This can be done by having one person close his or her eyes and fall backward into the arms of another. Helps you to think more clearly AND takes you into an environment where the 'power' position is somewhat neutralized. Services such as Google Talk are free and enable video call between individuals and businesses. Make it more challenging by timing them and limiting the types of materials they can use to protect the egg. Or, you could have employees stand facing each other in pairs; with their elbows bent, they place their palms together, leaning toward each other and moving their feet back further and further until they’re supporting each other.
The opportunity to give back to those less fortunate often creates a charitable, cooperative attitude among everyone involved. This gives employees a chance to discuss how the story changed along the way and methods they could use in the future to improve communication. Such exercises quickly highlight trust issues and help everyone learn to believe in one another. Several email service providers such as Microsoft, yahoo and Google offer free email services.




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