Effective Communication Is Critical to Team Success
Powerful Team Building Communication
As a team leader or member, you need to understand that good team communication is vital to the success of your team.
Poor communication hinders a team's ability to accomplish its goals,
There are mind numbing discussions over details.
There's ongoing conflict between a couple of team members.
A team member successfully and regularly leads the team along a rabbit trail.
Meetings go much longer than their allotted time.
Teams rush headlong into premature or irresponsible decisions.
Team members are afraid to be open and honest; instead they keep their true feelings or opinions to themselves.
There's a prolonged absence of mutual care and respect on a team.
These are important indicators revealing an absence of honest and open team building communication; and these are just some of the symptoms!
What can you do?
Be aware of the pressures some of your team may be under. They have goals to accomplish and there may be some very high expectations to do with outcomes. This can be true whether it's a team of cub-scout parents planning a camping trip or it's a major corporation looking to bring about some significant change in a company.
Learn how to address and eliminate concerns or fears rather than minimizing them. This encourages healthy team building communication.
When meetings feel unproductive and energy is lost rather than gained, the team needs freedom to talk about what's working and not working.
It is helpful to include three key elements in this discussion.
What is working well that we need to continue doing? (Always start with something positive!)
What are we not doing that we should be doing? (e.g. set some team ground rules; work on an appropriate team building exercise)
What do we need to stop doing? The leader may feel stuck about what's not working, but the member's collectively may know what needs to change or improve. The question is: Do the members feel safe to discuss their ideas and tell the truth?
Can you as a leader give up some control?
When there is conflict on a team it's crucial to know some conflict resolution skills, or the conflict will destroy the team instead of build it. This team building skill will help your team's communication in other areas also, and minimize future conflict.
A team needs to know one another in order to build healthy and respectful communication. Knowing each team member's personality types will improves your team's communication. Understanding each other better encourages patience and respect; key ingredients for good communication.
Without the communication of a vision, the team will lose energy. Team goals should be communicated regularly or attention will be diverted or lost.
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