Top-Shelf Tip No. 118:

"Communication works for those who work at it."

John Powell

Three Ways To Improve Communication Flow At Work

No matter how siloed roles or departments may appear, no one works in a bubble. What happens in one department impacts others. It's crucial for sales leaders to constantly interact with other parts of their organization to do their jobs well. If they don't open up to all stakeholders, they risk losing others' trust—and potential profits, as well.

Christine Alemany, CEO at TBGA, says the upshot to open communication between departments makes employees see and embrace their roles in the organization as a whole, which helps them become actively involved in the success of the company overall.

Moving toward more transparent communication takes time, energy and behavioral changes. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Alemany's thoughts on how to increase the flow of genuine information in your workplace.

1. Share and share alike. Collaboration between departments can often break down silos and spur innovation. An employee in another department might have valuable insights. Alemany encourages managers to focus on the interest of the company rather than the individual positions. This does not necessarily mean teamwork, as managers might have different goals. It means finding common ground that would be in the best interest of everyone involved. Unwarranted frustrations can easily be avoided if one department's objectives can be supported by the other departments. Try touching base by having team check-ins, interdepartmental reviews and informal meetings.

2. Express your goals. Beyond collaborating with other departments, try sharing your vision so other teams can understand their roles in your project that will achieve a major company win. Outline the strategic process you have plotted to reach your goal and share it with other teams to ensure everyone's resources and priorities are aligned. Alemany suggests setting objectives and a process, and then customizing it for all teams. Workers will live up to plan expectations and prioritize them if you help them understand their roles in the company hitting its projections.

3. Rely heavily on metrics and advanced analytics. Since many people act based on their gut feeling, it's important to have supporting information if you need to provide an alternative. Actionable data helps turn the conversation from personal to practical. The more supporting data you get from marketing, finance, sales, product development and other teams, the easier you can implement your plan.

Transparent communication can be challenging, especially when you realize others are not practicing it. Yet it helps everyone row in the same direction. Best of all, it reduces the fear of the unknown and sets your company up for heightened employee trust and all the advantages that come from engaged teams.

When you know how to communicate with people, they tend to want to communicate with you. Eventually, people will turn to you as a leader because they realize you will have or will find answers. And that is exactly where you need to be to motivate others to succeed for themselves and the organization.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Christine Alemany is the CEO at TBGA. She has reinvigorated brands, built demand generation programs and launched products on leadership teams of startups and Fortune 500 companies alike.

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