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Five nudges to help you implement good communication practices in your daily team interactions

Encourage Active Listening

Nudge your team members to practice active listening by emphasizing its importance in effective communication. Encourage them to paraphrase and summarize what others say to ensure understanding.

You can start meetings or discussions by explicitly stating the importance of active listening and setting the expectation for everyone to engage in it.

Use Open-Ended Questions

Encourage the use of open-ended questions during team discussions. Open-ended questions prompt deeper thinking and encourage team members to share their thoughts and ideas more freely.

Encourage your team to ask questions that begin with “what,” “how,” or “why” instead of closed-ended questions that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”

Promote Constructive Feedback

Create a culture of constructive feedback by nudging your team members to provide feedback that is specific, timely, and focused on improvement.

Encourage them to use the “sandwich” technique, where they start with positive feedback, provide constructive criticism, and end with another positive comment. Model this behavior yourself to set the example for others.

Implement Clear Communication Channels

Nudge your team to use clear and appropriate communication channels for different types of communication. For example, encourage them to use email for formal documentation, instant messaging for quick questions, and face-to-face or video meetings for complex discussions or brainstorming sessions.

Clearly define which channels should be used for specific types of communication to minimize confusion.

Foster a Safe and Inclusive Environment

Nudge your team members to create a safe and inclusive environment for communication. Encourage them to be respectful, open-minded, and non-judgmental when discussing ideas or sharing opinions.

Emphasize the importance of treating everyone’s contributions with equal value, regardless of their role or seniority.