10 Tips To Better Team Communication

Someone having no idea what the meeting is about. One person who’s determined to show who’s the boss. Another whose attention now is on what the post-meeting lunch has on the menu. And yet another who goes immediately on the defensive when his/her actions are criticized. All in all, a team meeting that has descended into chaos, with no semblance of communication. Teams that communicate clearly are able to see through the completion of projects in greater effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy. On that note, 10 tips toward a better team communication.

Minimize Communication Barriers

By this aspect, this would mean allowing anyone to ask questions, voice concerns, or to pitch ideas at any given time, with the due encouragement to be open-minded. It serves as an important part of building trust within the team since all members can feel like they can freely contribute value to a discussion in various ways, thereby enhancing communication.

Be Receptive to Feedback

Make feedback clear to everyone involved. Document needed areas of improvement and respond quickly. Greater receptivity of feedback would mean lesser conflict in decision making, leader to a faster response for the same, and therein a more streamlined communication among teams.

Be clear about the tasks

A lack of preparation for a conference can more or less end it even before it begins. Same goes for any given team communication activity. Team communication is only as good as its participants being engaged in the course of action meaning that a clarity on the agenda is required. Greater clarity means greater quality communication, and swifter action that can be taken.

Identify group leaders and support

A conference is a mode of communication, and we have seen in the same that designating a leader will help not only by reducing the length of conversation, but also by concentrating it on the main discussion points. Any effective team communication therefore will need an efficient and effective leader designated.

Team-Building Exercises

The element of team-building exercises is always reliable in improving communication among team members. This involves aspects such as professional workshops that focus on augmenting elements such as interpersonal skills, conferencing etiquette and emotional intelligence could help with enhancing team communication

Decide the best form of communication for the tasks at hand

Even with the same individuals, different tasks need different forms of communication. Internet and mobile communication forms are exponentially rising, but the variety of offers mean that businesses need to be able to implement effective strategies to have more efficient internal communications. Having efficient internal communications means the need for an equally efficient communication solution, with a correct purpose, performance and price.

Consider Group Decision Techniques

As with different communication forms, different group decision techniques could be considered. Examples of techniques that could be considered are as follows.

Interacting Groups

Essentially this technique involves members to meet and rely on both verbal and non-verbal interaction so as to communicate. However, one must remember that these interacting groups are susceptible to ‘groupthink’; where individuals are pressured toward a conformity of opinion. While this helps team communication in that commitment to a solution may have been achieved, the ability to think out of the box and offer radical or unique ideas may be limited.

Brainstorming Groups

This technique eliminates pressures to conformity that dampen creativity by means of encouraging alternatives while withholding criticism. While this is effective in helping pool ideas, it is not efficient, as individuals tend to generate far more ideas than a group in brainstorming. Nevertheless, this would help with the critical team communication element of group cohesiveness, and therein is still a significant decision technique.

Nominal Groups

Nominal group technique lives to its name by reducing discussion or interpersonal communication during the decision-making process. As a result, groups can meet formally with no restrictions toward independent thinking, leading to better team communication. It also outperforms the brainstorming group in that it is an inexpensive manner in which numerous ideas can be generated.

Electronic Meetings

Electronic meetings blends the nominal group technique with sophisticated computer technology. Voice, Video and Text forms of internal communication tools like MultiCall, Slack and MS Teams exemplify how said technology enhance team communication with solutions tailored to the business needs. This however trades group effectiveness for efficiency, in that it requires more time to complete tasks, and results in reduced member satisfaction. But as seen under group conferences, said meetings diminish social pressures and conflicts.

Be accountable for mistakes.

Mistakes are bound to happen, especially in team activities pertaining to decision-making, implementing decisions, or in getting information to take decisions. Taking onus of the same would lead to lesser conflict during decision making. Greater quality output would also be provided in that members would not feel belittled or devalued for providing feedback, therefore increasing team communication.

Take a Break

Yes, we do mean this one quite literally. Be it to grab a coffee or tea from the vending machine, or just to have a breather away from the conference room and its devices, even the break is an assist for the team-building spirit, and also allows for greater productivity following the same. It also would allow a team that’s unfamiliar with its members to interact informally and to “break the ice”, in a manner of speaking.

Understand Issues of Diversity

The tolerance of uncertainties, ambiguities and unexpected changes in an intercultural interaction, would largely affect the ability to effectively communicate. In the case of a team, a way to measure this would be to note and handle instances of uncertainties, and how members had reacted (or hadn’t) to it.

Only when a common goal and platform are set, does a team come into form. Communication is quintessential in team building and acquiring each team member’s optimal value. This can only be done by ensuring synergy in one another’s roles, and minimizing conflicts.

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

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