Our top 10 communication tips for FM Leaders. Read on to find out the 10 things to consider when building up your communication skills in order to improve your performance as a Facilities Manager.
Having top level communication skills is vital for a successful Facilities Management Leader. As a FM Leader you will have to liaise with everyone including suppliers, peers in the workplace and external stakeholders. Doing your job well depends on it! Read on for our top tips on how FM Leaders can improve performance with better communication.
The number one tip for being a good communicator is having the ability to step back and listen to others. People really feel valued when they feel they are being heard. Have one conversation at a time. In other words, if you are on the phone, don’t respond to an email at the same time. Giving people your undivided attention will really help to build strong relationships within a company or with other stakeholders.
2. Think before you speak
It may sound like something your teacher told you off for in school, but it is still relevant today. Pausing before you speak will allow you to carefully consider what you are saying to ensure your communication skills are up to professional standards. It also applies with digital communications - before you click send, read over what you have written! A simple typo can give an unprofessional impression to a client or team member.
3. Is your glass half full or half empty?
Having a positive attitude is a must for Facilities Managers. When you’re speaking with someone on the phone make sure your tone is friendly and upbeat. Human beings first learn to communicate via imitation and imitation still plays a role in the ways people communicate into adulthood. Imitation in communication is a type of advanced behaviour whereby an individual observes and replicates another's behaviour. If you speak with positivity, then you will most likely get a positive response!
4. Be Respectful
It is of vital importance to practise inclusivity and treat people equally. This includes having an understanding that all people have different strengths and weaknesses. It is important to treat everyone you encounter with the same level of respect.
5. Keep it engaging
When communicating your material to people, it is a good thing to keep in mind that different people learn in different ways. Although some people retain information best when they receive it orally, other people retain information better when there is a visual aid and others are “kinetic learners” requiring some sort of active interaction. Therefore it is important to keep your communications dynamic. You may want to consider preparing a visual presentation on PowerPoint or jotting down concepts on a whiteboard in meetings. Using a mixture of communication techniques will ensure that your team can easily follow you.
Although you may feel like you sound like a broken record, some people may need to hear a message more than once in order to absorb what you are telling them. Memories are built through repetition, so you may want to say things twice in order to reinforce your points. Going over the information you most want to drive home will be effective and make sure your messages aren’t forgotten.
7. Cut to the chase
Keep your messages to the point and don’t be too wordy. You may think you are being thorough when in fact you may be coming across as waffling or "ranting on." It is important that your communications are concise, as well as being informative. It is imperative that you make sure the context and priority of what it is you are trying to communicate is clear. If not, workers may make mistakes in their duties through misunderstanding or misinterpreting the information you’ve told them.
8. Reach out to others
Communications can often get lost between departments. It is important not to remain in a bubble. It may be a good idea to arrange a meeting with the heads of different departments to discuss new ways you can best support them with their facilities. Alternatively, if it is difficult to arrange you could always sit in on department meetings instead. Asking coworkers for feedback is also an invaluable way to gather information. This will altogether help build stronger relationships within the company as a whole.
9. Add other perspectives
As a FM Leader you will need to do a lot of negotiating. This will require you to operate diplomatically and empathetically in order to meet people's needs in the best possible way. This could include speaking with a chief manager in order to gain approval for something. This could also include trying to get the best deal out of a supplier or sub-contractor. Introducing your personal experience alongside the perspective of the other stakeholders you deal with into the conversation can really add weight to what you are presenting to the other party.
10. Utilise new technologies
There is now a wide range of technologies available that were developed specifically to help with collaborations and communications between and within businesses. You could consider using Slack, a platform that brings all your company's’ communication together in one place. Okappy is here to help bridge communications, not only between people within the company but, between your company and it’s subcontractors and external parties. Read more here.
For workers in any customer-related position such as Facilities Managers, excellent communication is vital. This requires an awareness of multiple other parties’ needs and good listening skills. By implementing the 6 tips above into your working routine you’ll soon be on your way to becoming a top level communicator!
Check out our article on The 4 reasons Collaboration Will Improve Your Business!
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