“Let’s step back and give everyone the context of this topic.”

I find myself saying those words often in meetings.  Or I have to stop the speaker to interject and get everyone in the room up to speed.  In today’s fast-moving business environment, we sometimes sacrifice good communication in the name of speed.  It’s understandable, given the fact that we are expected to deliver more, better, faster, with less resources!  It’s the expectation that has been set for all of us, and it’s unlikely to let up.

As we attempt to accomplish this kind of efficiency, we can underestimate the cost of communicating too quickly. More than ever before, team collaboration drives results, rather than  individual contributions alone.  As our individual tasks must be accomplished at a lightning pace, time still needs to be invested in the way we communicate.  If we fail to communicate in a way that others understand, deadlines are missed, mistakes are made, and our customers go e.

Here are 2 critical steps to communicating effectively in a team setting:

1. Before it’s our turn to speak, look around the room and figure out where there might be knowledge gaps for specific individuals.

2. When it’s our turn to speak, begin by summarizing quickly how we got to this point, closing those gaps.  Most often, everyone appreciates a quick recap, regardless of how up to speed they are.

Dale Carnegie said that to gain cooperation from others, “try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”  Like all Dale Carnegie Principles, it’s common sense, uncommonly practiced. Click here to access Dale Carnegie’s Secrets of Success!

Posted by Ryan M. Akins

Investor, Entrepreneur, Listener and Learner. Ryan currently serves as Regional President of Dale Carnegie for the North Texas region. He graduated from The Dale Carnegie Course in 2011.

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