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Five simple rules for improving communication in the team
Working successfully as a team is typically down to one thing: successful communication in the team. Teams that communicate well generally don’t arise spontaneously; they need some “care”. But the good news is that, with the right rules for communication, everyone can improve communication within the team. Here we propose to you 5 simple and well-proven tips that will lead your team communication onto the path to success.
Recently we reported on dealing with conflicts in the workplace. It’s even better to make the breeding ground for conflicts as barren as possible. Of course, conflicts within the team cannot be entirely avoided; indeed, that is also not at all advisable. Albeit there are effective methods that not only prevent unnecessary conflicts within the team but also improve the whole way people work together immediately and enduringly. The decisive, key term in this context is: team communication.
Good team communication can be practised
Of course there is communication in every department and within every project. However, not every group of people constitutes a team. In contrast with a group of people, a team works exceptionally well together; coordinated, supporting and harnessing individuals’ strengths, focussed on a common goal. Good team communication is the thread that holds all these advantages together, thereby actually making them possible. Precisely this is the decisive difference.
With these 5 simple tips you make an enduring improvement to communication within the team:
Communication rule 1: Shared goals
A team needs a shared vision that everyone wants to achieve. To achieve the goal, the roles should be clear and distributed in an understandable manner – avoiding the creation of static relationships where possible. People achieve tasks better if they understand them.
Communication rule 2: Listen better
Equally important for the shared goal is the involvement of all team members in team communication. Here, talking to one another is just as essential as listening to each other. Every team member should have an adequate say and arguments should be weighed up before any are rejected.
Communication rule 3: More transparency
Communicate openly and pass on to all team members all the relevant information they need. To establish successful team communication, individual interests must be subordinate to the common interest.
Communication rule 4: Constructive criticism
It isn’t nice to be criticised, but sometimes it’s necessary. For progress to be made, your own way of working, along with that of the team including all members, must be tested regularly. Here it’s important to argue constructively and to the point. There’s no room in team communication for personal criticism or judgment. If conflicts arise in the group, they should be dealt with openly and a common solution should be sought. In the event of hardened lines of conflict, external experts have proven useful.
Communication rule 5: Express appreciation
Just as constructive criticism should be practised, so it is also necessary to establish praise and appreciation in team communication. This does not involve celebrating shared successes alone, though this is very important. Above all, care should be taken to maintain a culture of appreciation, at the individual level too – not just on the part of the boss but also those of colleagues.
One positive side-effect of functioning communication in the team is that it reduces stress in the workplace and makes many processes significantly more efficient, allowing a great deal of time to be saved.
What are your team communication experiences? We look forward to your comments.
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