The pandemic caused many businesses to transition from office to remote. Flexible work is now a trend that will continue into the foreseeable future. As a result, effective communication is more important than ever before as employees collaborate asynchronously from geographically diverse locations. David Kauzlaric equips his team at Agency Elevation to thrive in this hybrid environment. He shares some key modifications he's made to communicate more effectively.
The foundation of communication is language. With fewer opportunities to meet informally in the breakroom or grab a coffee together, the words chosen for calls, emails, or internal chats add significance. "I've become much more aware of how specific words affect performance," David Kauzlaric says. The future of work requires leaders to dial in their communication skills by choosing words with intention.
Even subtle word changes can have an impact on team morale and engagement. For example, consider the word "you". That simple word can create communication challenges by conveying criticism that was never intended. "By substituting "you" with '"I" or "'people", my team members automatically feel less defensive and more empowered to provide feedback,"
Kauzlaric observes. Similarly, substituting "why" with "tell me more" encourages deeper thinking and engagement.
Allowing a team to arrive at their solutions is essential for their development. Sometimes, however, habitual communication patterns can be a barrier to building that muscle. "When I zeroed in on my communication style, I realized my words were unintentionally disguising advice in the form of a question," reflects David Kauzlaric. "I needed to let go of that habit and trust in my team to come up with their answer instead of giving them a solution."
Effective communication is key to impactful teamwork. Being mindful of how words land on people is even more important in the hybrid workspace. Optimizing communication results in teams with superior morale, engagement, and problem-solving skills. "It's better for the team, and it's better for the business. Everybody wins," concludes David Kauzlaric, cofounder of Agency Elevation.