The 5 Hallmarks of Exceptional Communicators


The 5 Hallmarks of Exceptional Communicators


It’s not just what you say or how you convey a message. Top pros prioritize empathy, brevity and other people’s ideas, too.

Dianna Booher

When everyone’s responsible, no one’s responsible.

Ask your kids why the house turned into a disaster while you were away at a conference, and they’ll point fingers. Ask neighbors why the city’s saddled with an unreasonable policy; they’ll say “people didn’t get out to vote.” Ask citizens why the city looks dirty; they’ll say “nobody cares.”

To change things, make everyone individually responsible for specific communication practices. The result: real teamwork. With that in mind, here are five communication habits and attitudes to boost teamwork, productivity and morale:

1. Respond promptly as a matter of productivity and respect.

On social media, the expectation time for response is fast or faster.

According to various studies on customer-service response times, customers expect a response within one to four hours. So how fast do companies typically respond? Ten hours, according to various studies by social media experts and bloggers. Big disappointment. If you take even longer to respond to a teammate’s text or email, bigger disappointment.

Understand clearly what the response standard is for your team: One hour? Four hours? Eight hours? Twenty-four hours? Are there exceptions to this standard? If so, what? Slow responses suggest many things — most of them negative. (Disorganization? Disrespect? Disregard? Incompetence? Don’t leave the other person wondering which applies.)

Your delay of a day can easily stall someone else’s project for a week.

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