In the digital and design industry, communication is key to absolutely everything we do. Yet with days becomming longer and lives becomming busier, are we putting enough emphasis on engaging with those around us, whether that be our colleagues, our clients or our ideas?
Personally speaking, I know that I am guilty of not putting pen to paper enough like we were always encouraged to do in our university days. Sketching ideas and brainstorming our thoughts has been replaced by the 'Just Do It' culture of turning on the computer and starting the work. In a similar way, the physical definition of a diary has been replaced by daily status updates on Facebook. So, as a New Year's resolution, we are are trying to take the time to sketch and write down our thoughts before leaping into designing a project. Spending this time allowing our minds to offload and communicate all those great ideas may lose us 10 minutes a day, but the creative communication channel is such an important one.
Years ago in my freelancing days before I started KVA Digital, I worked with numerous agencies to gather experience and the ones that I always found myself drawn to were the ones where staff were encouraged to have fun and colleague engagement was high on the priority list. The best example of this was an agency who frequently encouraged team bonding days out of the office and booked a holiday home for the weekend for a Christmas party in which everyone's family was invited. The worst example was an agency where no one was allowed to talk during office hours and the working atmosphere could be cut with a knife. Having such a regimented approach to our working lives may seem on the surface to produce the maximum amount of working during the hours of 9 to 5 but it's a fact that we all work much more effectively when we're happy in the work place and this comes down to us communicating thoughts, ideas and even general conversation while we work.
Client communication is an area that we never let slip as it's a fundamental part of ensuring we deliver an outstanding project exactly on brief. But there are always areas we can improve on. One of the ways we have naturally adopted is to do everything over email with limited face-to-face meetings or phonecalls. Yes, this gets the work completed faster but taking that time out to invest in getting to really know the person and business behind the contract can really be beneficial. I think it's safe to say we are all guilty of hiding behind our emails and when we're at our busiest, panicking everytime we hear that chime of another email arriving in our inbox. But even though email is such a quick way to communciate, it doesn't necessarily make it the best. Often picking up the phone and having a brief conversation can often be equivillent to a 12 long email chain going backwards and forwards.
The bottom line is that clear communication is key to a successful business, happy clients and a happy workforce. So to grow as a manager, you must learn how to be an effective, compelling communicator. And if you want your company to succeed, you and your team have to master the art of clear communication together. By using these and other strategies, you and your employees can reach new levels of creative excellence.