How To Help Your Team Achieve More By Talking Less

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Explaining every task in detail might get it done - but it kills productivity and creativity in the process. Here's how to talk less & achieve more:

Whenever you search for leadership tips online, one of them is dominant: work on your communication skills. When you encounter a problem in your company and you’re trying to fix it, the first solution that comes to mind is communication with the team. Yes – communication is important. However, communication is often being misunderstood as excessive talking.

Leaders, with the intention to communicate more, often overshadow the entire team by providing too many instructions and practically terrorizing everyone with frequent requirements for detailed reports and other kinds of feedback.

As a manager or business owner, your point is not to talk your people to the point of quitting. You need to inspire them, and sometimes that means keeping your mouth shut. You’ll be amazed to see how differently they will behave if you simply exercise a bit self-control.

We’ll give you important tips on how to help your team achieve more by talking less.

#1 Encourage The Team Members To Collaborate

What’s the point of having an office? It’s all about bringing people together, so they can work toward a common goal. But when you talk too much, you give them too many instructions to follow and you leave no space for them to work things out together.

As a leader, of course, you have the responsibility to see their work and progress and share feedback so they can get better. But you talking too much will disrupt the communication between the team members. They will only be left with listening and no creativity at all.

Even remote teams, which are getting more common by the day, need this collaborative space. If you’re working with a remote team, you should definitely consider an online collaboration platform, so you won’t have to send too many emails to each member, explaining the daily tasks over and over again. Too many emails are equal to too much talking. Remember that!

#2 Polish Out Your Listening Skills

It’s surprising to see how many people forget that listening is half of the communication process. They are so focused on saying whatever is on their minds that they pay zero attention to the things someone else is saying. When you’re a leader, such a habit can be detrimental to your success.

Since you give instructions and share goals, you clearly need to talk. But don’t make this a one-way process. A simple question will change things: “What do you think about this?”

Invite all team members to share impressions and listen. Don’t ask for the sake of asking; ask for the sake of listening what they have to say.

Larissa Thompson, team manager at Careers Booster, has her own listening strategy: “As a team leader, I’m responsible for delegating orders to the right writers. So when I think a writer is perfect for a particular project, I contact them to explain the client’s instructions. Then I simply ask: ‘What do you think about this? Do you have any ideas on how to complete it?’ And I give them time to think and process before they get back to me with ideas. I listen and try to inspire them to make each project better. I believe that inspiring employees is the job that every team leader or business leader has.”

#3 When There’s A Problem, Let Them See For Themselves

A leader is not there to indicate everyone’s mistakes. Yes, people will be making mistakes and you’ll need to make them aware of that fact. Isn’t that a paradox? No – it’s not.

You shouldn’t go to them with a list of mistakes they made. Let’s take Larissa Thompson as an example again. What if this writer fails to deliver what the client requested? The work is there, but it’s flawed. Will she send a lengthy email indicating one issue after another? No; she’ll probably send questions on how they could make it better.

“I think this section lacks a unique point of view. What do you think? Is there a way to improve it?”

Bottom line, bosses should never boss around. If they just wonder aloud how a particular issue can be fixed, the employees will work out solutions by themselves. They won’t feel pressured, so the solutions will be much more effective.

#4 Focus On Building Work-Centric Mindset

An employee should never be in a follower’s mindset. Instead of being focused on following orders, they should be focused on doing the work in the best way possible. So instead of giving detailed instructions for each step of the process, you’ll be better off with minimal instructions. You’ll leave them with enough flexibility to organize their work and meet your goals while infusing enough of their own personality in the process.

If, for example, you ask a writer to complete a project, you won’t say “I want this in the introduction, this in the body, and this in the conclusion. Use these resources and add these quotes.” Why do you ask a writer to do something when you clearly know how it should be done? Allow them to focus on the work. When you hire good employees, they will surprise you in a very positive way.

No; you won’t become a leader who just keeps quiet and comes across as arrogant. Far from it! You’ll still talk to your employees. You’ll just talk less while communicating more. It’s not a paradox. It’s called effective communication that equally involves all parties.



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