Communication is an essential ingredient for business success and at the team level, it is possibly the most important ingredient of all. You have probably worked on teams where the lines of communication got twisted or tangled. In those cases, it is hard to accomplish much of anything and even if you do there’s a good chance your accomplishment wasn’t as polished as it could have been. Failure is the most common result of poor team communication and nobody wants that!
So, how can you improve your team's communication? I am so glad you asked!
We should start with an agreement on what communication really means.
Communication is the process of sending ideas, thoughts, & messages and having them received as intended.
This is not as simple as it sounds, but for the purpose of improving team communication let’s focus on a few ways we can help move the teams we work with toward this definition of communication. Here are 4 ways you can help uncross the wires with your team’s communication:
- Pay Closer Attention: This means eliminating distractions like cell phones and messaging apps, use video when possible to allow eye contact and non-verbal cues, postpone discussions that can’t be resolved at hand, and actively listen to your team members.
- Ask for Advice or Suggestions: Everyone likes to share advice and feel like their opinion matters. Whenever a team member has a suggestion or idea hear them out and try to adopt them as often as possible. If it can’t be adopted or isn’t workable discuss why and give them the opportunity to revise or refine it for future team benefit.
- Ask for Feedback and Then Act on It!: If you accept feedback or have a way for team members to make suggestions… and you should. Then you MUST also show that you are willing to act on that feedback and implement those suggestions.
- Give Credit to the Team: You are the Public Relations Manager for your team, no matter what your role really is, so it is always your job to share the positive accomplishments of your team and individual team members in their work related endeavors.
These tips will help you get your team communicating with fewer tangled wires and missed connections! Let me know your team communication tips or tricks in the comments below.