Regardless of your industry or sector, team communication skills are integral to success. It doesn’t matter how intelligent or effective your individual staff members are on their own – if communication breaks down then your team will not be able to execute effectively. The importance of interpersonal skills in the workplace cannot be underestimated and makes hiring and team management a challenging prospect.
Luckily, by implementing best practices and focusing on employee development, business owners and managers can build productive teams and profitable businesses. Whether developing new products, executing complex promotional campaigns, or managing day-to-day operations, any team can benefit from improved communication. Examine current issues and implement some new strategies to get your team back to its highest-functioning form.
Clarify Roles and Objectives
Conflict is often born out of misunderstandings of team composition, goals, and responsibilities. If communication breakdowns are causing squabbles on your team, consider that teammates may not fully understand who is responsible for which aspect of a project or that their work towards different goals is causing tension. When clarity is needed, employees may not always step forward to request another explanation out of concerns for appearing inattentive. Developing process and launch-related documents before beginning projects is one way to keep your conception of the project concrete and easily-referenced should the team get off-track. Brief launch meetings can also be valuable for communicating your expectations in ways that are more effective than an email. Just be sure to be succinct and take feedback from your team to ensure buy-in.
Value Differences as Strengths
Differences in backgrounds, skills sets, education, and more can contribute to conflict on teams. Diversity within your team is of the utmost importance – those differences ensure that all perspectives and possible gaps are covered. But should strong personalities come into conflict, those differences can turn into pain points for a team. It’s important to integrate a celebration of differences into your initial team-building efforts so that it becomes a cornerstone of your work culture.
Accountability is Key
Leading by example and demonstrating the importance of accountability will transform your team’s communication and productivity. By celebrating your team’s successes and taking personal responsibility for any challenges that you have failed to meet, your team will see how you want to conduct business. Showing ownership of mistakes and recognizing your team for shared successes helps model the way that all team interactions should occur: by respectfully holding yourself and each other accountable.
These cornerstones of communication serve as early building blocks for building your optimal team communication. They are foundational principles around which you can build the rest of your team workflow and culture. Other factors impact your team’s communication style, such as software or media used, local culture, and some factors outside of your control. The most important thing to affect your team culture, however, is you. Take responsibility for team dysfunction and reset your approach. Set clear expectations and demonstrate the culture so that the rest of your team can join you on the journey to healthy team communication.