Communicate better with your team visually (even if you’re a terrible artist)

Mariano Rodríguez Colombelli
Sep 05, 2017

Statistically, 65% of people are visual learners. The remaining minority are mostly audio learners.

What does this mean for your team? Well, it means that those long-winded meetings are all but useless. No wonder 67% of employees feel like companies are wasting their time with meetings that don’t help them get work done.

So how, as a manager, do you teach, get your point across, and engage your team in a way that works for them, but without the boring meetings?

Visual communication tools are going to change the way you communicate with and teach your team. And you don’t have to be a brilliant graphic designer to get it right, either.

Here are 5 tools and tricks that you can implement right away, in order to help you communicate better with your team:

1. “How-to” GIFS using CloudApp:

Have you ever explained how to do something in a meeting, only to have someone ask you how to do it again later on? Your IT team will love this: screen capture an online action, and save it as a GIF to send out to your team. Everyone can view it in their own time, and reference back to it whenever they need to. You can use this app to build entire online tutorials – for example, learning how to use a brand new project management platform – and the entire process can be explained effortlessly! Everyone stays on the same page and can learn at their own pace.

2. Use Plot.ly to send status updates:

There’s nothing more forgettable (or unenjoyable) than seeing data and numbers in a basic email format. And, again, over 60% of employees feel that meetings solely for status updates are a waste of time. Your team won’t grasp any real importance from updates in emails, and they likely won’t appreciate being dragged to an unnecessary meeting. Surprise them and catch their attention by visually displaying the same data. You’ll be shocked by how much more of a response you get from your team when you present numbers in a way that are easily digestible.

3. Always conference videos, not calls:

It’s pretty standard to jump on a phone call, especially since remote work and telecommuting are becoming increasingly popular. However, a lot of the richness of communication is lost when you stop communicating face-to-face. It’s easier to zone out, forget information, and misread signals and tone. To communicate better and foster better relationships with your team, make the effort to video call instead. Not only does it help to get the message across clearly, it builds a sense of camaraderie and trust, which in turn fosters more sharing and collaboration.

4. Visualize goals and missions using Canva:

You could just write out long term goals, working ideas, and team missions. Or you could visually display them in a way that your team will remember long after an email or meeting. Canva is a great tool to help you share information in a creative and interesting way. There are plenty of templates for whatever data or information you want to display. There’s absolutely something key in adding color and images to data that allows the brain – especially for visual learners – to process and store information better.

5. Show a clear path to long term deadlines with good ol’ Google Calendar:

You really can’t go wrong with Google Calendar and yet, it’s so underutilized by so many teams. Prior to the start of the week or the month, block out your entire Google Calendar with projects. Create color-coded tasks and event milestones that lead to the most important deadlines. Share this with your whole team and put alerts on the most important ones. If tasks and deadlines are displayed in ways that aren’t so visual, it’s hard to get a proper grasp of them. Color-coded tasks and deadlines in one central place is a simple, yet effective way to make sure your team knows what’s coming up.

 

These are just a few tips we’ve started using in the office to help us all learn, communicate, and retain information better! We hope these tips are helpful. If you’re looking for an all-in-one collaboration platform for your team, try Hibox for free today.

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