Effective communication is central to the success for most organizations. James Humes said, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” In addition to lowering employee turnover by 50%, good communication drives better performance, which benefits your clients and creates return work. While the tips below may seem simple, it’s often the humbler techniques that are skipped over. Being mindful of a few indispensable communication tactics will help your team become more efficient and result in more profitable projects.
Ask for/Offer Help
Being willing to ask for help not only gives you a chance to grow in your skills as you learn, it’s best for your client to make sure you are doing things correctly. In the words of my CAD Manager, David King, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question.” Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as you need – it’s more efficient to ask questions on the front end than have to re-do work. We are all here to please the client and win more work. So, you not asking questions could lead to billing more time to a project and bringing your utilization down, making the project less profitable.
Likewise, be sure to offer your assistance to help create a culture where asking questions is encouraged and input valued. If you know someone is new to your company, stop by their desk to introduce yourself and offer to help with anything they may need as they settle in. If you’re in a leadership position, let your team know you welcome questions and are there to help them.
When working with a colleague on a project, you should always have a kick-off meeting. Talk about the information that needs to be provided to the client. Make sure you have both internal and client deadlines to keep you on track. Check if your project city has a checklist for deliverables. Discuss how you can be efficient in handling various aspects of the project. Make sure you actively listen to your colleagues and follow up on any unclear items. A quick recap email to the team never hurts to ensure everyone is on the same page and has their action items before beginning.
Don’t let underlying issues with a co-worker cause a breakdown in communication. If there is tension in the air, for whatever reason, look for ways to resolve the issue and move forward. Not being able to effectively communicate with your team not only results in you feeling less engaged, it hurts the project. Whether you need to talk to the person directly or take it up the chain to your supervisor or HR department, be willing to take the initiative and look for a solution.
For those in a technical field, communication is not always our strong suit. But no matter how good you are at the calculations or design work necessary for a successful project, not prioritizing these simple communication tips can slow you down and hinder the project’s success. While it may be the end of January, it’s not too late to add better communication in the workplace to your list of new year resolutions!
About Patrick Annett
Patrick Annett is a Designer for the Land Development - West Division in Dallas, Texas and has been with Foresite Group since 2016. Patrick’s focus is site design and construction documents. He has expertise is in AutoCAD and Civil 3D.