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The art of speaking – something entrepreneurs and Startups should not overlook

DIGITAL VENTURES January 11, 2017 6:38 AM


Teamwork is one of the most important success factors for Startups. The bigger the team, the more important communication becomes. Communication can enhance teamwork efficiency and also grow the company. Apart from expertise and techniques, understanding and team unity are crucial for an enterprise to achieve its goal faster.

Charle Charoenphan, head of accelerator at Digital Ventures, always says that people skills are something Startups should not overlook. To make the team really work, communication is key, and this also includes giving people feedback.

Kaweewut Temphuwapat, head of PTT Group’s ExpressSo, shared with us the art of speaking and receiving feedback. Let’s see how Startup entrepreneurs make teamwork communication fruitful and efficient and equip Startups with this important skill.

Giving feedback or telling the team what they have done well and what should be improved has a direct impact on work efficiency. The teamwork dynamic is built on diversity of thoughts and practice, which should be unified and streamlined in one direction. Giving feedback needs to be straightforward to improve operational efficiency. Key elements are as follows:

  • Trust

Trust is very important for feedback efficiency. Once both parties have trust in each other, both can express their feelings, comments and thoughts sincerely and without awkwardness. Trust is the first thing to establish so as to make it easy and smooth for the next talk and feedback session. This is the foundation for creating great teamwork.

  • Appreciate good things

Most of the time, feedback is for improvement. To make a strong team, however, feedback should focus on good things people have done and contributed. Talking only about problems and solutions is not enough.

  • Facts only, nothing personal

When giving feedback to your team, one of the best pieces of advice is to talk about facts and don’t mention something unseen, such as one’s habits or attitude towards specific issues.

  • Always give advice

In addition to reviewing past performance, team leaders should always give advice in the same way brothers or close friends would do to help others do better.

  • Change the way you talk

If a team member arrives late, what would you say? You may do it in a relaxing and playful way by saying: “You went to bed late last night, I guess.” However, the person may think you are intruding into their personal life and finding fault with him or her. That means trust is damaged.

Perhaps you could say: “I am worried that you are late. Your team will find it difficult to work. Can you come early next time?” This would point out to your team member that his or her action has an impact on others. In this case, your team member does not have a reason to get mad with you because you stated the fact that he or she has to accept and improve.

How to receive feedback

Once you hear advice, you will have to have an appropriate response. Listen attentively. Do not interrupt while your team leader is giving you feedback or advice. You may also take notes or repeat what you have heard to confirm your understanding. If you feel unclear, ask for clarification.

After giving feedback and advice, do not find excuses for yourself. That won’t bring any benefits. Always ask yourself what you should do to make it better.

The art of speaking and communicating with your team members is very important to the entire team performance. Talking about the same thing in different ways may bring about unexpectedly great results. Transferring advice to real action is a must in teamwork.

For Startup entrepreneurs and anyone who has already applied this art of speaking, don’t forget to share the results with us.