Good communication in teams can make the organization grow. On the other hand, lack of effective communication can lead to conflicts which can cause the organization to fall apart. Before it’s too late, it would be good to review the following practical and proven ways to good communication in teams.
Why Communication in Teams is Important
According to Jodi Macpherson, Mercer Inc’s communications expert, communication is essential for building trust. And trust is a powerful force that enables the team members to build loyalty. Both trust and loyalty are critical towards achieving team or organizational goals.
5 Techniques to Effective Communication in Teams
- Specify who the team members are.
In a book “Senior Leadership Teams,” the authors and researchers studied more than 120 top teams in many businesses around the world. They found out that almost all senior teams thought that they have already set clear team boundaries. However, when the members were asked who the members of the team were, fewer than 10 percent knew the answer.
The study shows that many organizations overlook this part. You can avoid this mistake by organizing an avenue where all the members can meet and greet. Knowing who the members of the team are and their function allows a member to address the right person for a particular concern directly. This also prevents team members from being passed around from one member to another. This is particularly the case for large teams.
- Encourage open communication
Open communication is vital in any relationship. So much more when it comes to big organizations. Open communication is when each member, regardless of position, can give honest feedback. Positive or negative feedback should be encouraged.
There are different strategies on how to develop open communication in teams. But the most important point is that it should start at the top-level management.
According to an article titled “Giving and Receiving Feedback” published by the University of the West of England, there are some useful ways in providing feedback such as:
- Be clear and precise on what you want to say
- Emphasize the positive
- Focus on the behavior and not the person
- Be descriptive and use positive language
- Own your feedback. Use ‘I’ statements
- Define communication etiquettes
Proper etiquette is a must when it comes to communication in teams. It is important for team leaders to define their communication protocol from the very start. Here is some communication etiquette that you can encourage:
- Timely communication. All the members of the team must be able to respond promptly, regardless of who they will be communicating with. When someone reaches out to you, don’t put it off. Timely communication is a key to efficient and effective collaboration among members.
- Avoid gossip. Don’t use your organization platform to talk badly about others in the team or organization. Gossip erodes the trust of people. It could also lessen the morale of the team.
- Observe good manners. Hard feelings toward team members are often a result of lack of good manners and politeness. Even when communicating online, it is best to observe the real old fashion culture. Saying “thank you,” “please” and “sorry” would go a long way toward developing a good relationship in teams. With a good relationship, you can expect for the team to have an open and active communication.
- Create a standard communication procedure
If you are the team leader, you must set up clear guidelines and policies on how information will be shared with the team. All the members must know who to contact regarding the type of information. Also, team members must know and understand their specific roles. This will promote efficiency and strength in the group.
- Select effective collaboration and innovation tools
For effective communication in teams to thrive, you need to use effective communication and collaboration tools. Depending on your needs, you could use free tools or paid software or an app. For small teams, emails and free tools may work for you. However, for larger groups, it would be good to invest in tools or apps with features that match your needs. This investment is all worth it. And many surveys can prove this.
According to Forbes Insights Survey published in May 2013, cloud collaboration increases the productivity of businesses. It also advances global communication. Also, according to ICE3, 97% of companies that use collaboration software reported being able to service more clients efficiently.
Furthermore, another survey on social tools conducted by McKinsey Global Survey and participated in by 2,427 people supports the benefits of getting communication tools. According to the respondents, social tools allow for improved internal communication, and this feature has helped their businesses.
Communication in teams is vital for any organization regardless of size. Having an open and efficient communication allows for better collaboration. This, in turn, results in efficiency and effectivity in achieving team projects and goals. You can quickly make effective communication in a team with those five proven techniques listed above.