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How to Improve Team Communication in the Workplace

 

by Patrick Bosworth

 

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Communication in the workplace is one of the most influential aspects of business success or failure. A well-communicating team can move mountains together, while a poorly-communicating team can unintentionally (or intentionally) sabotage success.

Improving communication in your teams is one of the most important changes your organization can take. Effective communication will not only produce a more positive work environment, it will also increase productivity, employee engagement, and profitability.

3 Steps for Improving Team Communication in the Workplace:

How can you improve team communication in the workplace? It starts with self-awareness. Each team member must first take a good look at how he or she communicates. Then, team members should take the time to understand each others communication patterns. With this information, team members can then learn to make simple and temporary communication modification that can skyrocket

1. Become self-aware of personal communication patterns.

Each team member must first develop self-awareness about how they communicate with others. This includes understanding how they thinkthey communicate as well as how others perceive how they communicate. Most people’s communication patterns change under stress, so it’s also important for team members to understand how their personal communication patterns change under pressure.

This awareness is an important first step in improving team communication since it empowers each person with knowledge of their natural tendencies as well as their strengths and weaknesses. This personalization will be important when they’re making temporary modifications to communicate more effectively with a person or group of people.

2. Understand each team members’ communication patterns.

Effective communication isn’t a one-size-fits-all mentality. Every person communicates differently, which means a team can be most effective when they understand the communication patterns of their fellow team members.

With this information, team members can develop techniques to temporarily change their communication techniques based on the team member(s) with whom they’re communicating. For instance, perhaps Jenny has an analytical communication pattern and needs time to process information and make decisions; Mark is an expressive and tends to work fast-paced, preferring knowing the big picture. Understanding these patterns gives you insights for how to communicate most effectively, get more results, and reduce conflict.

3. Develop an agreed-upon communication dynamic

Finally, the team must have a defined, predictable, easy-to-implement, and intuitive system for communicating. This dynamic should take consideration of the speaker and listener’s primary communication patterns (as opposed to treating everyone like the same type of communicator). It should also include both the speaker and listener making temporary communication modifications based on their personal communication pattern and the pattern of the person with whom they’re speaking.

Any communication program or philosophy is best implemented with regular reminders. It can often be helpful to incorporate a short communication discussion into weekly or monthly meetings – troubleshooting any communication problems, discussing observations about communication patterns, or taking time to praise those who have been effectively implementing effective communication.

 

Effective Team Communication is the Foundation of Business Success

Not only does effective communication affect company culture and interpersonal relationships; it also results in:

  • Better client relationships
  • Minimized conflict
  • Increased productivity
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Reduced turnover

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How We Help: Connecting With People Team Communication Program

Connecting With People is a premier, award-winning team communication program. It transforms communication from just “talking” to being an actual high-impact tool for business success. The high-impact communication habits developed under Connecting With People will help teams get more done faster while creating a more engaged and positive team environment.

What Does Connecting With People Look Like?

Connecting With People is an employee communication program that includes a preliminary communication assessment, a workshop (available in-classroom or virtually), and follow-on exercises to maximize retention and application.

1. iConnect Personal Communication Assessment.Each participant will first take a communication assessment. This assessment is integral to the Connecting With People team communication method. It provides a detailed personal analysis of communication patterns, giving important self-awareness from which to build new communication skills.

From a series of questions, the assessment determines different aspects of an individual’s personal communication pattern, including

  • How the person sees themselves
  • How others see them
  • How the person communicates under pressure

2. Connecting With People Workshop. Available in a half-day classroom workshop, a live-virtual interactive online classroom, or as an on-demand virtual course, the Connecting With People workshop is the heart and soul of this program.

Connecting With People goes in depth to analyze personal communication patterns and the communication patterns of others. Participants are given recognition techniques to quickly assess the patterns of others, then learn to make strategic adjustments to communicate more effectively in any situation.

3. After-Training Retention Exercises and eCoaching. After training, participants receive weekly reminder videos as well as access to an eCoaching dashboard that reinforce skills and troubleshoot challenges. This integral part of the Connecting With People results in 3X higher application and long-term retention than traditional employee communication programs.

4. Optional: Team Connect™. This program is specific to your team and includes a facilitator to help the group examine each team member’s personal communication patterns, discuss current communication barriers, and implement weekly or bi-weekly Team Connect Huddles for a productive communication platform. Learn more about Team Connect here.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Communication in the workplace is one of the most influential aspects of business success or failure. A well-communicating team can move mountains together, while a poorly-communicating team can unintentionally (or intentionally) sabotage success.

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About the Author

Pat Bosworth

Founder and CEO
Patrick effectively coaches leaders at all levels and across a number of industries with a pragmatic, consultative approach. Previously, he was vice president with Right Management and held other senior OD and development positions in manufacturing and the professional services Industries. He holds an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Lamar University.

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