At Activia Training, we always encourage teamwork, and teamwork can only happen when individual members of the team discuss their ideas, exchange suggestions, and know how to communicate effectively.
Effective communication among members of the team can improve the overall performance of the group, so it’s vital that all members are on the same page. To help you do just that, here are some of the most effective ways to communicate in a team environment.
1) Build rapport with your teamIn order for members of your team to comfortably work with each other, you must give them the time and space they need to develop a good rapport with both you and other team members. Some of the best ways to do that are to encourage interaction during break times, discussing causal topics, and being friendly and open in your approach. This way, your team members will develop good rapport with you and each other, which facilitates effective communication at work.
2) Encourage questions and discussionsEach and every member of your team has something of value to contribute. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and levels of understanding, and it’s important to acknowledge this and encourage their questions and contributions. Team members should feel free to ask questions and express their doubts without feeling that they’ll be judged or considered unintelligent.
Similarly, team members should also feel comfortable enough to express their opinions and offer suggestions. You can do this by creating an open forum where people can discuss their problems or ideas. The Toolbox blog has some great ideas on how to do this.
3) Show them supportWhen team members present their ideas or suggestions, it’s very important to give them due consideration and attention. Whenever they’re speaking, make sure to pay attention to them and consider their ideas carefully. If you think the idea is viable and the suggestion is sound, discuss how you could implement it with the team. If you think that it can’t be implemented at that moment, let them know.
If you think that idea or suggestion isn’t viable, always explain why you think so instead of simply dismissing it. This shows that you give all suggestions attention and encourage members of your team to talk about their ideas, which will also increase the team’s productivity and encourage communication with team members.
4) Be clearOne of the most important rules of effective communication is conveying your ideas to your team in a clear and concise manner. If you don’t do so, there’s plenty of room for misunderstanding, which can lead to costly mistakes later on. Workplace communication should always be direct and precise, ensuring that all ideas are communicated properly and understood by everyone.
You can even use presentations or videos to explain concepts in a way that everyone can understand. Presentations are particularly useful, since they help you convey information through spoken, as well as visual mode.
5) Hold one-on-one meetingsWhile encouraging communications on the group-level is important, it’s vital to individually connect with every member of your team. You can do this by organising one-on-one meetings every once in a while. Not only will it give individual team members the confidence to personally approach you whenever needed, but they will have more confidence during team interactions as well.
6) Provide feedbackAlthough it might seem like an insignificant detail, giving proper feedback is one of the most important aspect of communication. As the Office of Personnel Management says, without feedback, you're walking blind. This is your way of saying that you’re listening and you value the opinion of your team members. If your team performs well, you need to let them know and encourage them, and you should also offer useful suggestions wherever possible.
Do you have any other tips on how to communicate in a team environment? Make sure to tell us in the comments below!