The 5 keys to team harmony- Key #4 - Clear and concise communicationOct 10, 2022
The biggest problem that I have found with communication is believing that it occurred in the first place. We live in a fast paced world, where information is coming at us so fast that it seems like it can take too much energy to fully understand much of anything. As a result, we skim information, assume intentions based on body language and past experiences…our filters and lenses become literally transparent to us. Slowing down seems like its not an option. Our competitors are biting at our heels, time seems against us, yet communication and be the very thing that is keeping teams from coming together and aligning.
Essential to any high performing team and relationship of any kind is proper and effective communication. Here are some truly effective and critical aspects:
- Relay key information. As leaders we have a responsibility to convey critical details and not assume these are known.
- Don’t presume the speaker was heard by the listener, check in.
- Use “I” messages and speak from a position of clarity on goals and overarching group mission. Avoid the “you” messages as this can cause negative reactivity.
- Ask for engagement. Initiate buy in and commitment through direct questions.
- Avoid ‘stacking’ questions. Sometimes silence goes much farther than continuing speaking. Let the silence be filled on its own.
- Clearly express and convey the elements of what success looks like. This provides a clear lane for what needs to be accomplished and leaves room for flexible methodology.
- Mindset check- tune in to the mood/emotions of both the speaker and listener. Is this the right time to have a discussion?
- Beware of text messages and email as tonality is lacking. Depending on the mood of the reader, the information can be received in many different ways. If the topic to discuss is emotionally charged, pick up the phone and call or better yet meet in person.
Great teams are made through how they communicate with each other, and this skill is becoming more and more important. Most interpersonal conflict is born of misunderstandings, so the need for being patient and open have never been more relevant. The result of the communication is what is heard and not what was said.
Still struggling? Reach out for help. As leaders we are expected to have the answers and the ultimate accountability rests with the leader so don’t overlook this critical key.