Is Your Team Hearing What You’re Saying? 4 Ways to Use Behavior to Overcome Miscommunications

When you have a conversation with a team member on the manufacturing floor, you know what you’re saying . . . but do you know what your team member is hearing? Oftentimes, we think we’re being clear but others don’t hear exactly what we’re trying to say. When this happens, it leads to

  • Communications breakdowns.
  • Halted productivity.
  • Missed opportunities
  • Frustrating experiences for everyone involved!

To help manufacturing leaders and their teams overcome common miscommunications, I recently brought Dean Heffta onto the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast. Dean is a speaker and trainer with Clarus Results, and has years of experience with helping organizations improve their impact and tackle common communications challenges. If you missed the podcast, check out these four great insights on how you can avoid common miscommunications on the manufacturing floor.

Insight #1: Consider Your Role

As a leader, you likely see yourself as holding a position of authority. But when it comes to avoiding miscommunications, it’s not always best to act like the boss! When talking to your team, consider taking less of an authoritative “boss” role. Instead, take a more collaborative approach. Act as a facilitator and guide your team members into productive conversations and new solutions, instead of automatically assuming you need to step in and tell them exactly what to do.

Insight #2: Don’t Assume

Speaking of assumptions . . . stop making them! You might think you know what your team members need to do and how they need to do it. However, you can never really know the true pulse of your organization unless you get involved. To create a healthier organization, talk to your team members. Practice skills like empathy and accountability to better understand their mindset, needs, and processes. Get involved by setting goals and expectations, but don’t be afraid to listen to new perspectives or change your own mindset to find creative, productive solutions.

Insight #3: Find the Cause of Miscommunications

When miscommunications happen, they’re often the result of “distress.” For example, imagine you see that a team member is very stressed. Is your instinct to go over and talk to them, or are you going to shy away and give them some space? You’ll likely avoid them, which can actually exacerbate the situation and lead to even more stress. To overcome miscommunications related to distress, take time to understand how your team members react to stressful or tense situations. Every person has their own behavior, but by understanding how they react, you can adjust your own behavior or work with them to find the best ways to communicate, even in the most challenging of times.

Insight #4: Change Your Own Behavior

Finally, take some time to understanding your own behavior. Like your team members, you also have your own unique ways of responding to everyday challenges. Before you turn to finding ways to fix your team’s behavior, take some time to reflect on your own behavior. Could you react differently in certain situations? Are you using the best language to communicate with your team? Are there ways you could better energize and motivate your team? By asking questions like these and reflecting on your behavior as a leader, you can take a strong first step to avoiding common miscommunications.

Learn More on the Podcast

To learn more about how you can change your behavior to improve your organization’s communications, listen to Dean Heffta’s appearance on the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast here.