Effective communication is a skill that all teenagers need to acquire early on in order to face bigger challenges, whether it be in college or in the workplace later on. When teams communicate well, you usually know it: Work flows smoothly, people are in sync, everyone’s clear on priorities, and bad surprises are rare. Here are four signs that your team isn’t communicating effectively – and that you need to revisit the way you work together.
Alison Green writes the popular Ask a Manager blog where she dispenses advice on career, job search, and management issues. Along with many inherent skills, the ability to communicate is best enhanced when you consciously practice at home and in school.
Yet surprisingly, poorly communicating teams don’t always recognize that that’s the source of the problem. When this is happening, two culprits are likely: First, you’re probably not doing enough work on the front-end to ensure that you and the person you’re delegating to are on the same page – which usually means spending more time talking through the details and what a successful outcome will look like.

If deadlines are being missed, then either your staff didn’t understand the deadline and its importance in the first place, or they don’t believe you take deadlines seriously. Little is more important for employees to understand than what success in their roles would look like, but it’s incredibly common for managers to neglect to do the work of spelling that out. When you listen to someone, maintain eye contact at all times; this shows that you are listening to the speaker’s message.
If you are uncomfortable speaking in public, try to immerse yourself in situations that would compel you to project your voice in a larger environment and among a larger group of people. It might be that you’re not delegating well to begin with (see #1 above), or that you’re not checking in enough to feel confident about how work is progressing (or to course-correct early on if it’s needed), or it might be that there’s a performance issue on your team that you need to address – but generally a lack of trust in your team’s work is a serious flag that something isn’t working and you, as the team’s manager, need to make a change. As a result, employees often have one idea about what’s most important for them to achieve (and thus what they should prioritize and spend time on) while their managers believe something else entirely. Terms and conditions, features, support, pricing, and service options subject to change without notice.

Confidence boosts ,like refreshments ,often help calm your nerves, so keep a bottle of Del Monte Fit ‘n Right in hand as you venture off to your next speaking engagement. Try not to let your imagination wander nor cut the other person off while he or she is still talking. This way, you can see if you are opening your mouth wide enough for the words to come out clearly.

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