Working with people is challenging – not everyone is up to the task of managing a team. It takes a dedicated effort to understand your people and work together effectively. Preventing misunderstandings is simple when you work to prevent assumptions. Misconceptions and miscommunications can happen in the workplace, but top leaders know how to mitigate conflict and maximize productivity. From Davis Staffing, here are the top three tips on how to avoid assumptions in your organization.

1.    Clarification Questions

Any given project may change direction as you work. Teaming up with your staff calls for transparency. Make sure everyone is on the same page by asking clarifying questions. When new developments occur, update the entire team in person if possible. It’s more important to repeat information that your staff may already know than to overlook something and miss a detail. Whether you’ve assembled an in-person meeting or you’re chatting over a messaging system, express your desire to clarify everything. Use these phrases to keep it light and avoid combative language.

  • “Just so we’re all on the same page…”
  • “To clarify…”
  • “So to recap…”
  • “For my knowledge”

Speak from a place of authenticity to command respect from your team. If you try to clarify with a poor approach, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.

Instead of: “John didn’t process the reports correctly last time, so can we make sure he knows what to do this time?”

Ask: “Does everyone feel confident processing reports? I can send out a refresher email to the whole team so everyone has the information they need.”

2. Stay Open-Minded

To improve your workflow, you’ll need to stow your pre-judgments. Creating an inclusive and open-minded work environment will help your entire team feel comfortable sharing and stepping up. It’s natural for people to make assumptions and jump to conclusions, but relying on these assumptions in the office will hinder your effectiveness as a leader. Maintain an introspective approach, remembering that your perspective colors everything. If you’re not sure about something, speak up and ask respectful questions. Be inquisitive, not accusatory.

3. Summarize and Recap

One technique you can utilize to avoid assumptions is summarization. This is a practice often used in active listening, the skill of concentrating on someone’s message rather than just passively “hearing” them. You can actively listen to your workers and then summarize what they’ve said to show you’re processing their thoughts. Communication is all about nuance, and you want to be sure you’re capturing the full text of what someone is trying to get across. At the conclusion of a meeting or after a conversation, end with a full recap. It can also help to describe action items assigned to each staff member. A top leader never leaves a meeting without everyone knowing precisely what to work on next.

Follow these tips and you’ll be able to work freely knowing that your staff has a full handle on their assignments. Avoiding assumptions will help your staff progress in their work, and will help you know that your people have 100 percent clarification.

Work With a Top Staffing Agency in Chicago IL

For more insight on how to effectively lead a team, contact Davis Staffing. We can help you bring qualified candidates in the door quickly to make sure your staff can reach peak performance. Check out our website today and connect with a top staffing agency in Chicago.