Communicating in Teams
A team is formed when individuals with a common goal come together on a common platform. The team members must complement each other and avoid silly conflicts among themselves.
Communication plays a very important role in team building and extracting the best out of the team members.
A team member must clearly understand what his fellow team members are up to. He should be very clear about his roles and responsibilities in the team. It is the duty of the team leader to delegate responsibilities as per the interest and specializations of the team members without imposing things on them. Never confuse any employee.
Verbal communication sometimes may create misunderstandings and confusions, thus it is always better to rely on written communication for better clarity and transparency. Communication is effective when the information is passed on through emails. Emails are more reliable. Do not send the mails to individuals separately as they might assume that you want to hide something from them. This way they tend to interfere in each other’s work, trying to find out what extra is written in their fellow member’s mail. The mails should be sent with all the participants in loop. Also invite suggestions from them. It is not always that you are correct; your team members might come out with a brilliant idea as well. Ask them to participate in discussions, this way they feel motivated and indispensable for their team and as well as the organization.
Conference room, board room or a suitable place must be used for meetings and discussions. It is always better that the issues are discussed on an open forum and the participants are allowed to speak freely. Avoid a noisy place. The agenda of the meeting should be prepared well in advance and must be circulated among the team members. Ask them to come prepared so that they do not sit blank in the meeting. The speaker should take the help of white board, marker or a pen and paper so that he doesn’t miss any point. One should not attend any meeting empty handed. Carry something to note down the important points for future reference. Confusions and misunderstandings are nullified this way and people start trusting each other.
The goal and the objective of the team should not be set only by the team leader itself. Every employee should contribute equally and give his valuable inputs. The team members must not fight among themselves and try to reach to a conclusion best suited to all. The goal must be very well communicated to all the team members and they must be very clear from the beginning what they are supposed to do to avoid problems later. The goal can never be achieved unless and until all of them work hard together and contribute their level best.
Your idea however brilliant it is fails to work unless and until it is implemented in the correct way. The strategies, methods, concepts not communicated in the correct way can lead to severe confusions and have adverse effects. The decisions, thoughts, strategies must be communicated to one and all very clearly. One should not play with words or pass on only half the information. Teams must not be too complicated with a simple hierarchy where the subordinates have an easy access to their team leaders. Policies and strategies must be made taking into consideration each and everyone’s suggestions and should be communicated in an effective way.
Every individual should have the freedom to speak. Do not keep things within yourself and crib later. If you feel that your fellow colleague is going wrong somewhere and needs to be corrected, go ahead. Do not hesitate, after all his mistakes will also effect your work also. Do not shout or criticize him, but make him realize his mistakes in a polite but convincing way. If you feel that you need to go for a vacation, please discuss with your superior. Don’t just assume that your boss will know things on his own and grant you holidays. You need to communicate to him, instead of cribbing and spreading negativity.
Effective Communication reduces the chances of conflicts and fights among team members. No body has ever gained anything from fights. Communication improves the relations among the team members and they feel fresh and motivated the whole day at work.