How do you improve your communication with your team?

523 views3 Upvotes11 Comments

VP - Head of Information Technology in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
I did a book club for my team on Leadership is Language, by David Marquet. The book proves that even though we tell people things like, "Speak up if you see something wrong,” and, “You should feel empowered," we don't follow through in every other way. He uses the written transcripts from big disasters — like ships sinking, space shuttles blowing up and oil rigs catching on fire — which document where things went wrong to prove how our language is a big part of the issue. To give you an example, "Are we ready to launch?" is the wrong question to ask. What I should ask is, "How do we know we're ready to launch?"

Asking, "Do you have any concerns," will give you a binary answer. It’s better to ask your team, "What concerns do you have?" The question alone forces the dialogue to be open. Whereas asking for a binary answer forces the listener into fight-or-flight mode, and they think, "I have to answer yes or no — is it yes or no?" They're trying to compile all this information, but if you open it up, they can just share what they're thinking about instead of trying to answer your question within a defined box.
PMO – Engineering in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Vritual/zoom team outing/fun games with beer. Quarterly priorities dashboard. 
VP of IT in Retail, 10,001+ employees
Since Covid started we switched to shorter and much more frequent (3x/week) staff meetings and included all leadership.  All leaders then meet with their teams more often.  Also increased the frequency of skip level meetings.  
C-PIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
You Must be transparent in your objectives. Your team needs to see the end goal, you cannot hit a target that you cannot see. Building trust with the team is important to building honest communications. Ask for and act were possible on input, value each member of your team. Ask for improvements in work flow and follow up by implementing what works. To sum up communications "Listen" then act accordingly. 
VP of IT in Software, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
we increased and encouraged more knowledge transfers within the teams. We also record everything so that everyone can get access to the information. And we share and save these recordings.
Director, SRE & Global Cloud Operations in Telecommunication, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
We actually have daily stand ups but force them to not carry past the allotted time. As things are moving so quickly, this really helps us stay on top of issues, maintain alignment and ensures everyone has the same information. If further discussion is needed, people can break off into smaller groups.
CIO in Education, 501 - 1,000 employees
We have weekly leadership team meetings and I have individual 1:1 meeting with each direct report. We have town halls on a quarterly basis or as needed. We use Teams extensively and have multiple channels to keep conversations going - from a Leadership Team channel, to a managers channel, to an IT Playground.
Sr. Managing Director in Finance (non-banking), 5,001 - 10,000 employees
-Regular team meetings with a set agenda 
-1:1 meetings
- email prompt communication ( staying on top of inbox)
- let everyone know the preferred way of communication email/phone call/Teams/Slack- settling on one or two means
- showing the team that I am easily accessible and have open door policy
- team outings 
- randomly using one of the weekly team meetings to listen from team members rather than every time me talking 
- creating opportunities for team members to present, create documentation and provide regular written updates
Director of IT in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Be clear and specific in what is it that you are asking them. Set clear expectations, follow important meetings/conversations with an email so its clear what was discussed and you have record of it that can reference.
Senior Director, Information Technology in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Enable a safe environment for the team to share their thoughts/ideas/concerns.   Listen carefully to what your team shares/needs and communicate and assign follow up actions.    Manage and communicate to individuals (and not just the general team) on goals/objectives - this will push understanding and expectations up to the team level.   Be open to feedback and corrective actions that may go against your own personal or past successes because each individual and team are different in each company.

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