Communication in the team
Communication in the labor collective – is a complex process from the establishment of contacts to the development of interaction and relationships. The main function of communication is the organization of joint activity of people, which involves the development of a common strategy of interaction that is possible only on the basis of the harmonization of their positions. Another function of communication is people’s knowledge of each other, as well as the formation and development of interpersonal relationships .
Labor collectives arise for the purpose of joint achievement of certain goals. Therefore, it is business communication that comes to the fore in them. Business communication is a process of interconnection and interaction, in which there is an exchange of activities, information and experience involving the achievement of a certain result, the solution of a particular problem or the realization of a certain goal.
Business communication can be divided into direct (direct contact) and indirect (when between partners there is spatial and temporal distance).
Direct business communication has a greater efficiency, the strength of the emotional impact and suggestion than indirect, it operates directly in the socio – psychological mechanisms.
In general, business communication differs from the ordinary (informal) in that its process sets a goal and specific tasks that require a solution. In business communication we cannot stop interacting with a partner (at least, without losses for both parties). In ordinary friendly communication, more often than not, no specific tasks are set, no specific goals are pursued. Such communication can be terminated (by the participants) at any moment.
Business communication takes various forms: business conversation, business negotiations, business meetings, and public speaking.
Business communication is a complex multifaceted process of development of contacts between people in the official sphere. Its participants act in official statuses and are focused on achieving the goal, specific tasks. A specific feature of the named process is regulated, i.e. subjection to the established restrictions, which are determined by national and cultural traditions and professional ethical principles.
There are “written” and “unwritten” norms of behaviour in this or that situation of official contact. The accepted order and form of treatment at work is called business etiquette. Its main function is to form rules contributing to mutual understanding between people. Second in importance is the function of convenience, i.e. expediency and practicality.
Business etiquette includes two groups of rules: norms that apply in the sphere of communication between equal in status, members of one team (horizontal); precepts that determine the nature of contact between a manager and a subordinate (vertical).
A common requirement is considered a friendly and cautious attitude to all colleagues at work, partners, regardless of personal likes and dislikes.
The ability to behave properly with people is one of the most important, if not the most important, factor determining one’s chances of success in business, official or entrepreneurial activities. Dale Carnegie said back in the 1930s that a person’s success in finance, even in technology and engineering, depends fifteen percent on his or her professional knowledge and eighty-five percent on his or her ability to deal with people.
In this context, the attempts of many researchers to formulate and substantiate the basic principles of business communication ethics or, as they are often called in the West, the commandments of personal public relation (can be very nearly translated as “business etiquette”) are easily explained. Six basic principles are distinguished as follows:
1. Punctuality (do everything on time). Only the behaviour of a person who does everything on time is normative. Tardiness interferes with work and is a sign that a person cannot be relied upon. The principle of doing everything on time applies to all work assignments. Experts who study the organization and distribution of work time recommend adding an extra 25 percent to the amount of time you think it takes to complete the assigned work.
2. Confidentiality (don’t talk too much). Secrets of an institution, corporation, or specific transaction should be kept just as carefully as secrets of a personal nature. There is also no need to tell someone what you have heard from a colleague, manager or subordinate about their work or private life.
Courtesy, friendliness and friendliness. You should treat customers, clients, customers and co-workers in every situation with courtesy, affability and friendliness. This does not mean, however, that it is necessary to be friends with everyone with whom you have to interact ex officio.
4. Attention to others (think of others, not just yourself). Attention to others must extend to fellow-workers, superiors and subordinates. Respect the opinion of others, try to understand why they have a particular point of view. Always listen to criticism and advice from colleagues, superiors and subordinates. When someone questions the quality of your work, show that you value other people’s insights and experience. Self-confidence should not get in the way of being humble.
5. Appearance (dress appropriately). The main approach is to fit in with your work environment, and within that environment, with the contingent of employees at your level. You should look your best, that is, dress tastefully, choosing a color scheme to match your face. Carefully chosen accessories are of great importance.
6. Literacy (speak and write in good language). Internal documents or letters sent outside the institution should be written in good language and all proper names passed without errors. No profanity should be used. Even if you are only quoting another person’s words, they will be perceived by others as part of your own vocabulary. Business (official, official) communication can be direct or indirect, depending on the circumstances. In the first case, it takes place in direct contact with the subjects of communication, and in the second – with the help of correspondence or technical means.
In both direct and indirect communication, various methods of influencing or affecting people are used. Among the most common of these, I. Brahim singles out the following – persuasion, compulsion, coercion.
As a rule, a business conversation consists of the following stages: familiarization with the issue to be solved and its presentation; clarification of the factors influencing the choice of decision; the choice of decision; decision-making and communicating it to the interlocutor. The key to the success of a business conversation is the competence, tactfulness, and friendliness of its participants.
An important element of both business and small talk is the ability to listen to the interlocutor. “Communication is a two-way street. To communicate, we must express our ideas, our thoughts and our feelings to those with whom we are communicating, but we must also allow our interlocutors to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings. In political, business, commercial, and other spheres of activity, business conversations and negotiations play an important role. The study of ethics and psychology of negotiation processes is engaged not only in individual researchers, but also in special centers, and the methodology of negotiation is included in the training programs of specialists in various fields.
Business conversations and negotiations are conducted in verbal form (verbal). It demands from participants of dialogue not only literacy, but also adherence to ethics of verbal communication. In addition, an important role is played by gestures, facial expressions that accompany the speech (non-verbal communication). Knowledge of non-verbal aspects of communication is especially important when negotiating with foreign partners from other cultures and religions.
Friendly relationships can be defined as positive intimate relationships between people based on mutual affection, spiritual closeness, common interests, loyalty of people to each other, complete trust, etc. Friendship relationships are characterized by: personal character (as opposed to, for example, business relationships); voluntariness and individual selectivity (as opposed to kinship or solidarity, due to belonging to the same group); internal closeness, intimacy (as opposed to mere friendship); stability. But the goals pursued by friendship can be very different: business or emotional, rational and moral – all this is intertwined in a complex way and acquires a multi-purpose orientation.
There are different types of friendships. For example, there are spiritual friendships — mutual enrichment and complementation of each other. In this way, such a relationship affords one’s friend the opportunity to gain that coveted recognition: what could be more beautiful if you are appreciated and understood by someone whom you recognize this right. One feels completely different from the other and admires exactly those qualities that one does not have.
There is a creative friendship – when both friends retain their distinct personality. Moreover, friendship helps to creatively complement the personality of each friend, to give a complete character to their individuality.
Everyday friendship can exist and develop only if the immediate territorial proximity. Friends must necessarily live next to each other, render each other services, ask for help, go somewhere together or at least just talk about this and that. As a rule, such friendship is supported by some constant reason for meeting. This can be a common neighborhood or a common job.
Obviously, it is the so-called everyday friendship that is the main purpose of forming friendly relations in the work team. Service contacts should be built on the basis of partnership, proceeding from mutual requests and needs, from the interests of the business. Undoubtedly, such cooperation increases labor and creative activity, is an important factor in the technological process of production, business.
Internal communications in the company: a common language for the workplace
Perhaps many have faced situations at work when the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing. Such problems are usually related to internal communications within a company and have a very serious effect on the efficiency of all business processes. How to establish communication in a team, what tools can be used for this, and why a single information space is so important to the success and efficiency of the organization?
Personnel communications in the organization: what is it?
Internal communications in a company are essentially the dialogues of everyone with everyone else. The process of communication itself is so important that many organizations even employ separate specialists in information support. What is the reason for that?
Team communications are necessary to connect managers and employees, to build effective communication with colleagues, and to ensure the efficient and accurate exchange of data without loss of information and time. Moreover, it is crucial that these interactions work in all directions, i.e. not only bottom-up from employees to superiors but also from superiors to employees. This is necessary both for building company policy and for strengthening team spirit and increasing loyalty. Without communicative communication, it is as if each employee is in his or her own “information bubble” and does not fully understand how his or her activities relate to the goals and objectives of the company. This leads to the well-known effect of “I’m the only one working here, and the rest are busy doing nothing.
An interesting fact American experts on intra-corporate communications calculated that the loyalty of employees and their satisfaction are connected by more than 90% with the quality of communication inside the company .
Moreover, the lack of communication between employees and departments significantly slows down the solution of any issues, provokes numerous conflicts and misunderstandings, and consequently leads to internal tension in the team, in which different areas (groups, departments) begin to act not as allies, but as adversaries.
Who needs smooth communications in the team? Hearing the term “corporate communications”, we immediately imagine a huge multi-level organization with hundreds or even thousands of employees. Indeed, if the company employs more than two dozen people, it is expected that not all of them will communicate with each other directly. The larger the company’s staff, the higher the chances are that most employees won’t know each other at all.
Nevertheless, building communication in the company is also necessary for very small firms. Even if we talk about a startup with only 3-4 employees, communication must be established, because everyone wants to know what has already been done, what is supposed to be done, how the work process in general is going, and what is expected of him personally. Another thing is that organizing communication on such a scale is quite easy – usually a general chat in a messenger and regular meetings are enough.
Communication is extremely important in a team where a significant number of employees work remotely or, as they say, “in the field. In such a situation, it is necessary to pay special attention to horizontal communications, because each employee can keep in touch with the management, but not have the slightest idea what colleagues are doing.
If corporate communications are not developed and directed, they will develop themselves. And not necessarily in the desired direction. If all questions are resolved at the water cooler or in private correspondence, if no one has no idea who is responsible for a particular task, and any discussion of organizational policy begins with the mysterious “by hearsay” – do not count on a coordinated and efficient work.
Common information space – the way to staff loyalty
In order to increase employee loyalty through internal communications, you must clearly understand one truth: internal and external PR – different things. What is effective in external communications – the strategies of “default”, “refocusing” and “shifting the focus of attention” – “inside” does not work.
That is why the strategy of forming a unified information space implies a number of quite specific tasks:
- bridging communication gaps both horizontally and vertically. This will allow to achieve mutual understanding at all levels;
- getting feedback from company’s personnel. Each employee should understand that his opinion is important and will be taken into account, and an employee needs convenient tools to convey this opinion and receive feedback promptly;
- Demonstration of the management’s readiness for a dialogue, as well as the creation of a positive image of the company;
- Explanation of the corporate policy in the sphere of training and development of the personnel;
- forming unified standards of behavior in accordance with the corporate code and ethics of the company. This is one of the main tasks of corporate communication. If it is not solved in any way, there is a risk of serious reputational damage. The work of any organization may include critical moments and conflict situations, so it is very important to give employees the opportunity to discuss them in a small circle, without taking the rubbish into social networks. At the same time, it is just as important to ensure that management can discuss sensitive issues with employees and provide them with the official version of events to avoid the spread of rumors and speculation.
But what tools can be used to solve all these tasks at once?
Employee Information Management: Tools for the 21st Century
All the tools for building communication within the organization can be divided into several types:
- informational. As the name suggests, their task is to inform the employees about what is happening in the company. A stand with announcements, circulars and orders is just an information tool (albeit very primitive). A corporate magazine or newspaper, a corporate portal with a systematized database of knowledge where any employee can find the necessary information without distracting his or her colleagues, various intra-corporate mailing lists could all be informational tools.
- analytical. Just as it is important for the employees to know about the plans of the management, it is necessary for the management to keep abreast of and understand what the executives want. For this purpose the tools providing feedback are used – forms for making suggestions and forums on the corporate site, systems of questioning of employees, personnel monitoring and many other things.
- communicative. People are social creatures, and in addition to the exchange of working information they need personal interaction, otherwise you cannot build a strong team. Communication tools include not only corporate events and team building events, but also various professional competitions, corporate education, adaptation trainings and seminars.
- organizational. For the successful operation of the company each employee must understand where it is going and what its goals are. For this purpose meetings, meetings, planning sessions and management speeches are held, and the development and implementation of corporate standards serve the same purpose.
All of these tasks can be handled separately, but there are tools that combine all of the basic functions of communication within an organization. For example, the corporate social network.
Like an ordinary social network, a corporate social network allows you to share news and thereby keep employees informed of what’s going on. The availability of group and personal chats is a way to build effective communications between employees without wasting information and time, to unite in groups according to professional interests, to arrange meetings and brainstorming sessions even if employees are scattered all over the world, to receive consultations in real time and, finally, to communicate in an informal setting and make friends with other employees. A corporate social network is associated with a space designed for dialogue, which means that the problem of internal company communications will be solved as effectively as possible, without the risk of a reputational blow from open sources such as VK and FB.
Corporate social networks are a relatively new phenomenon, but they are rapidly replacing corporate portals and websites. The reason is the simplicity, convenience and flexibility of social networks. In addition, it is now, in principle, a very in-demand, and therefore familiar to everyone, format of interaction.