I have found in my consulting career that one of the biggest obstacles to teamwork is effective team communication. How to Effectively Bring In a New Member to a Team – 3 Team Tips It can be difficult for a functioning or dysfunctioning team to bring in a new team member. Team Tips: My Number One Team Tip to Increase Trust Misunderstanding the intentions of team members is one of the biggest handicaps of teams.
Lastly, the study of communication is very complex and delivering important messages should be taken seriously. When members of a team are unclear on the goals of the team and their individual responsibilities, team motivation and morale can suffer.
When team members communicate with one another, each team member must make a commitment to really listen, seek to understand one another, use appropriate body language and ask clarifying questions. Probably one of the most overlooked B’s to effective team communication is the lack of good old fashion politeness.
There are going to be times when not everyone on the team is going to agree with an opinion or on a decision that has been made.

3 Good Reasons We have talked about many effective communication techniques on our Teamwork and Leadership blog over the last four years. Too often, cliches are used or someone is trying to imitate a mentor and the intended message is not delivered effectively. One of the biggest drivers of frustration is when communication is not delivered in a timely manner. Just because you think you delivered your message effectively doesn’t mean it was received. The expectation must be set that if any team member is not clear, they have an obligation to ask. Not being courteous in communication can result in hard feelings towards team members and the potential for individuals on the team to put up walls. Team members need to be flexible enough to support decisions contrary to their own desires, given that their opinions have been shared and adequately heard. Whether it’s a difficult conversation yet to be had or an individual witholding information due to a power play, you owe it to your team to deliver the message in a timely manner.

Testing for understanding with follow up questions is a good method to assess your own communication. If every team could master these five B’s a lot of problems could be avoided, especially in regards to work team communication. One simple trick to help team leaders overcome this barrier is to check for understanding at the end of each meeting. Supporting the decision doesn’t mean that everyone has to agree, but they must be willing to help make whatever has been decided a success. Refrain from gossip, it erodes the trust of those you are gossiping to and takes big chunks out of team morale.
If you aren’t timely you run the risk of people filling in the gaps to what they think is happening or believing what is being rumored.

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