Football is a universally loved sport. In a typical football match, there are moments when teams take some time out for a quick huddle. In sports, a huddle refers to the process of gathering together in a tight circle and strategizing to win the match. Usually, the team leader will try to inspire everyone but every team member is responsible for their own actions and efforts on the field.
Even a brief team huddle acts as an effective tool for team communication. Similarly, in organizations, teams need to communicate and be open with each other to successfully drive business goals. Wondering how to effectively communicate with your team and improve team collaboration? Read on!
What Is Team Communication?
At the heart of team collaboration lies team communication. The first step of working together is communicating with each other, establishing trust and improving interpersonal relationships. Communication plays a vital role in achieving group goals and getting everyone to agree on common problem-solving strategies and decisions. It further helps in clarifying individual roles and responsibilities—giving way to effective cross-team collaboration.
Teams form the backbone of any organization. Research suggests that creating teams is one of the most effective and efficient ways to complete tasks and achieve organizational goals. At its simplest, team communication refers to different types of interactions among team members. Here are a few examples of how different types of team communication play out.
Verbal team communication: One-on-one interactions, phone calls, water cooler conversations and team meetings
Written team communication: Memos, emails and team chats
Non-verbal communication: Tone, facial expressions, gestures and postures
The Need For Effective Team Communication
Effective team communication encourages healthy relationships that are instrumental to long-term success at the workplace. Instead of working independently, people learn to work interdependently. Here are several advantages that highlight the importance of team communication in workplaces:
When everyone’s clear about their roles, responsibilities and deadlines, meeting project expectations is easier. Even if you’re unable to complete tasks, you can inform your teammates and someone can cover for you. Effective team communication helps you maintain efficiency.
Positive Work Relationships
Team communication fosters trust and support among teammates. Understanding each others’ strengths, weaknesses, thought processes and tendencies enhance cooperation and collaboration. Healthy workplace relationships boost workplace morale and job satisfaction.
Disagreements and conflicts are inevitable in teamwork—they’re likely to arise from time to time. Good communication skills help defuse tension and minimize conflicts as you can express your thoughts honestly and clearly. You feel heard and your team is able to overcome obstacles effectively.
How To Improve Team Communication
Although it’s a team leader’s responsibility to create and motivate a group, the onus of goal-setting doesn’t solely rest on their shoulders. Every team member is equally responsible for driving the organization’s objectives and they can achieve this only with proper team communication. Let’s see how you can improve team communication in the workplace.
Give Your Whole Attention
Always be mindful of your verbal and non-verbal cues when communicating with someone. Listen attentively and reciprocate appropriately. Make eye contact during conversations and respond with appropriate gestures. Your teammates will feel comfortable only when they feel heard.
Identify Your Communication Format
Every team works differently and different situations require different types of communication. For example, you’ll need to rely on video conferencing for remote team meetings, while one-on-one conversations are most suitable for in-house projects.
Acknowledge Team Diversity
All teams are made up of diverse people from various walks of life. There’s diversity in terms of knowledge, skills and experiences. Individuals are likely to offer multiple perspectives, have differing viewpoints and divergent outlooks. It’s crucial to acknowledge diversity and resolve any issues that may otherwise be pushed under the rug.
Be Open To Feedback
To communicate effectively, you need to keep an open mind and make room for constructive criticism. Feedback loops are helpful in tapping into a team’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. It’s instrumental in trust-building and effective collaboration.
Team-building games and activities can help you enhance team communication to a great extent. They act as effective ice-breakers as everyone engages in fun and informal ways. When people are comfortable around each other, they automatically communicate better. Work towards building a strong sense of reciprocity by having fun!
Given how important teams are to today’s workplaces, a successful professional needs to enhance different kinds of communication skills to effectively engage with different kinds of teams. Harappa’s high-impact online public speaking course Speaking Effectively will help you stand out as an effective communicator at work. Learn how to deliver ideas with precision, and use empathy and logic to connect with others with the PAM—Purpose, Audience and Message—Framework. Master body language techniques and exhibit confidence with the Non-Verbal Cues framework. Don’t just communicate with your team, connect with them!
Explore topics such as What is Communication, Business Communication, Types of Communication, Channels of Communication & How to Avoid Humblebragging from Harappa Diaries and learn to effectively perceive, respond and interact with others.
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