Is your team having a communication breakdown? As in all other breakdowns in other teams or organizations, it’s most likely the result of circumventing the real issues and settling for passive-aggressive methods of exchanging messages. Also a reason might be the fact that no one in the team has any real communication skills to speak of. It’s about time to brush up on your communication skills and solve the problems before it’s too late.
1. Don’t settle for the non-verbal message.
Non-verbal communication is an essential and, quite frankly, inevitable part of the communication process. But when the non-verbal doesn’t get translated into verbal messages, things can go awry. For instance, when you can sense that a person is becoming sarcastic, point this out by asking, “I can sense that you have a problem. Am I right?”
2. Keep information lines open.
Another reason behind communication breakdown is the withholding of information. Information is power, and the more someone in the team withholds it, the more he feels that he has power over others. Soon after, an unfortunate powerplay may occur within the team.
3. Don’t dwell on positions.
The unfortunate reality is that people focus too much on positions. How about you stop trying to become the nominal leader and agree that you are a team? The sooner you realize that the road to success requires cooperation and teamwork, the sooner you will be able to achieve your goals.
4. Don’t disagree with people; disagree with positions.
The worst that you can do when you’re in a team is to keep on contradicting someone just because you dislike the person. Before anything else, get your message across loud and clear: what you’re disagreeing with is not the person himself but the set of ideas, concepts, and opinions.
5. Always keep the focus.
Too often, the discussion can stray from other unrelated matters. An efficient team knows better than to get side-tracked with the extraneous issues and to crack down on the matter at hand. Whenever the meeting strays from the purpose, everyone must take it upon themselves to make the observation and say: “I would like to ask to return to the purpose of the meeting.”
6. Critique yourselves.
Why are you not as efficient as you were the last time? You must be unafraid to constantly critique yourselves and constantly compare. Only by doing such can you achieve actual progress.