How to use effective communication to improve team dynamics
Communication plays a huge part in being able to work with other people. If people aren't aligned with their communication, it can cost a business money to correct misheard messages, requests or advice.
It takes two roles for good communication to occur, a sender and a receiver. When you write, speak or text someone, you are the sender. If you are reading or listening, you are the receiver. Our industry requires accurate communication between people, which means you will experience being a sender or receiver multiple times throughout any working day. Good communication comes down to are how good your listening skills are, whether you're being candid and honest, and whether you are making valuable contributions. We’ve listed a few helpful tips on how you can improve your communication and be a better team player!
If you’re in a conversation or reading an email, value the sender’s time as well as your own by being fully present to what they are saying. Avoid multitasking or thinking about something else. If you pay attention to what is happening at that very moment, you’re more likely to take in what has been said and have a relevant response.
Repeat what you heard
Use your own words to state what you understood from a message. The other person will then have the opportunity to confirm that you have correctly understood the message, or realise there has been a misunderstanding which they can correct instantly. It only takes a moment to repeat what you heard, and for them to ensure that you have the correct understanding. This could save time down the track if there were a disconnect between what was said and what was heard.
Tell it like it is: how to give and receive honest feedback
Let people know what worked and why you appreciate them
We should’ve highlighted the word honest in the header. Feedback doesn’t mean letting someone know what they did wrong; it’s how they're performing overall. In the busy-ness of getting things done, people can often feel overlooked or may feel unsure about whether or not they’re going about their job the right way. All it takes is letting them know what they’re doing right and why you appreciate them for an individual to feel a boost of confidence and have a stronger sense of direction.
Let people know what they could do better
This kind of feedback can sometimes be a little uncomfortable to give. Sometimes it’s hard to tell someone they aren’t measuring up, and it can be hard for them to hear. But it’s not necessarily about who is right or wrong. Let your teammates know that you’re invested in them putting in their best effort. You’re holding them to the standard of which you believe they are capable. If you need to let someone know what they’re doing isn’t enough or needs to be different–you should also tell them how they can be better. Letting them know is not enough. It can leave someone feeling unsure of how to improve. Make sure you give them some helpful tips and suggestions.
Value real contributions, avoid ego stroking
Talk through problems to come up with the best course of action
Make sure you are approachable when it comes to talking about issues. Conversations about work should include all the facts – good and bad. Decisions based on as much known information as possible will likely reveal the best course of action. Monitor contributions from yourself and your teammates to ensure inputs are relevant, and that any bearers of bad news aren’t dismissed – it might be important!
This post is 1/3 in our Team Series. For other posts on the importance of team work visit:
3 things your business must do to develop high-performing teams
The next person you hire could make or break your team. Here's why.
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