At the end of the day, despite great technological advances business is about connections between people. Being able to develop those connections and build trust between people is fundamental to achieving business success. Never underestimate the power of personalization. Trust is an integral ingredient to building strong business relationships. Procedures and guidelines are helpful in defining processes and protocols, but don't get too caught up in following the fine print.
The best way to learn what people think is to ask them their opinions. Ideas are aplenty – an effective manager understands how to bring them to the forefront. Action Plan Track your communication methods for one week. Identify how much time you spend communicating via email, telephone, and face-to-face. Identify ways to improve personalization.
Identify relationships that would benefit from either more frequent or a more personable means of communication. Develop a strategy and timeline for increasing phone and face time with key relationships.
Work within your own team to create a work environment that is less reliant upon email. Encourage your staff to pick up their phones and open their office doors – and lead by example!
Distribute an agenda before your staff meetings. Follow the agenda and monitor progress and accountability, but also create a strategy that ensures your meetings are relaxed, somewhat free-flowing, and that they promote the sharing of new ideas. Distribute a questionnaire to your team seeking feedback on any topic members choose. Topics could be as simple as the brand of coffee in the break room or as complicated as changing long-standing procedures or protocols. Assign ownership and deadlines; track progress. by Larissa Joy, Weber Shandwick Group, Europe