Communicate Early and Often

It isn’t just relationships that require communication to function; your team needs it too.

Effective communication will aid in squashing confusion, improving efficiency, and creating a healthy work culture. If you’ve ever been a developer yourself, you’ll know anything besides coding feels like a distraction and unproductive. That’s why it is your job as the tech lead to be a proactive communicator.

So what steps can you take to interact with your team early and often?

Take the responsibility

You are the leader and are in a position of authority to establish and demonstrate how the team should communicate. Sure you have a lot on your plate, but your priority is maintaining the health of the team and its productivity. Ultimately, your metric for success is team performance. Are you comfortable letting that just play out as it may?

Address issues

Conflict is awkward. Losing an employee because there was no communication is costly. Dive into the awkward conversations so you can better understand each team member and learn their concerns, issues, or struggles. If they don’t have a voice, they won’t stay around long.

Make it concise

The truth is that communicating actually is a distraction, albeit an important one. All the more reason to keep it on topic and concise. When scheduling meetings provide an agenda in advance and stick to it. After meetings or one-on-one conversations follow up with an email that shares the most important takeaways. This will keep the distraction to a minimum and help team members walk away with the details that matter.

Answer questions

Communication isn’t one-sided and while you may have a list of topics that need to be discussed, leave room for questions. Nobody is a perfect communicator and you will unearth questions and concerns. Give your team a voice by allowing space for them to get answers and ease their concerns.