Encourage Effective Communication Within Teams Using These 5 Steps
Great teams are the cornerstone of many outstanding achievements. Whether in sports, businesses, communities or families, teams can work together to transform outcomes, find inventive solutions and achieve results that are impossible when attacked alone. While great teams come in different shapes, sizes and makeups, there’s one thing outstanding teams have in common: effective communication.
Without communication, the ability for strategic collaboration to take place quickly falls apart. Communication is the bedrock of teamwork, creating safe spaces for questions to be asked, objectives to be clarified, and solutions to be built together. Unfortunately, strong communication doesn’t always flow naturally within a team environment. There is a wide range of challenges that can create roadblocks to effective communication. If you’re leading a team, whether at home or at work, building communication tools is a necessary part of moving towards collective greatness. Here are five ways you can encourage this within your team.
- Develop a culture of robust feedback. Constructive criticism can be the difference between a team that’s ready to face any challenge thrown their way and a team that’s ready to give up at the first sign of an emerging issue. Leaders can set the tone for a culture of robust feedback by offering their own with clarity, care and detail. By welcoming feedback across hierarchy lines, team members of any standing within an organisation are empowered to contribute their perspective and experience to the team’s results.
- Remove confusion around responsibilities. Clarity is a necessary part of effective teamwork. When there’s a lack of clarity about who’s responsible for each part of an outcome, miscommunication can cause teams to turn on each other, allocating blame rather than taking ownership of their own workloads. If each team member is clear about their responsibilities within any given task, communication can flow freely. Potential threats to the desired outcome can be addressed in a proactive, solution-oriented way.
- Practice honesty and transparency. Interpersonal communication is built on a foundation of trust. When organisations identify honesty and transparency as core to their values, they’re choosing to encourage a culture of openness. This is paramount in ensuring communication pathways are cultivated and prioritised.
- Design productive meetings. What’s the point of your weekly meeting? Does it invite insightful conversation, or is it merely sharing information that could be distilled via email? By showing your employees that you value their time and energy, you can ensure that group meetings are focused on high-quality communication, not low-quality habits.
- Clarify your team’s communication channels. Whether your company policy is to embrace Slack, emails, videoconferencing or collaboration applications, clarifying a standardised approach to communication channels can reduce friction around communication. Remove the frustration that can follow out-of-hours texts or cross-app missed messages by streamlining your internal communication processes.
Virtual Adventures can be the perfect tool to shake your team out of communication ruts and into proactive, collaborative processes. The Okavango River System in Northern Botswana is one of the most pristine ecosystems on earth. Red Leaf gathered in Maun in 2012, and their mission was to kayak the 250+ miles of the mighty Okavango Delta. Now, this virtual adventure allows your team to do the same, prioritising team communication through conflict resolution and prioritisation under pressure. Book this virtual adventure today and watch your team excel as they navigate changing environmental conditions as a cohesive unit.