How to improve communication within a team is a must-have skill for any leader. If you are a business owner, manager, or chief executive, then you need to read this article. Alternatively, you can watch the video embedded in this article to discover 6 tips on how to improve communication within a team.
Communication is an interaction between two people or, between you and a group of people, and the essence of communication is to bring about an understanding of what you're thinking.
You want your team to understand you, and you want to understand your team. As a leader, you must be able to communicate with them effectively so that you can achieve your set goals.
You want to know how to improve communication within a team to ensure that your interactions produce the desired results. Below are 6 tips on how to improve communication within a team.
6 Tips on how to Improve Communication within your team
1. The Right Mindset.
You need to understand that people don't come in a box. People have different experiences. They have diverse backgrounds, exposure, personality, communication styles. Some are diplomatic while some are blunt, and some are introverts while some are extroverts.
There would be some people who you would understand quickly because they have similar to you while you may struggle with understanding some others because they are different.
It's a good idea to have people that think differently from you, with a different personality from yours because you would be able to combine their strengths with yours to form a very strong team.
Whatever business you do, it's about people. If you're offering a service, you offering a service to people. If you're selling a product, you're selling the products to people. Hence, it is a good idea to have people with diverse backgrounds, diverse personalities, diverse likes and dislikes on your team so that you can cover all angles in your business.
2. Set Clear Roles
Every member of your team needs to know what their role is. What do they have to do to be successful? Your team members need to have an understanding of their roles to avoid conflicts and waste. You would not want duplication of roles in your team. Let them know the metrics for which you would measure their success so that they know what to do.
3. Set Clear Goals
Clear goals would improve your communication. What is the goal you have for your team? It should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to be achieved in a set time. When your goals are clear, everyone knows what they have to do, and know when it is achieved.
Setting clear roles and clear goals would make your team more cohesive. It would between decrease conflict and intra-team competition, which may be counter-productive. Instead, your team members would focus on complimenting each other to achieve the team's goal.
4. Ask For and Give Feedback
As a leader, there would be a lot of communication that goes back and forth between you and your team. One way to ensure that people understand what you mean is to ask for feedback. You have the opportunity to correct misinterpretations when you get feedback. You would also learn how your team members communicate.
For example, ask for a summary of your meetings. Ensure everyone has a clear understanding of the goals and the time required to complete assigned tasks and projects.
Give your team some feedback too. When your team members say something to you, you can repeat what you heard if what there is some ambiguity in their statement.
5. Involve The Entire Team
You want to get your team involved, not in the numbers alone, but also emotionally. When people are emotionally involved, they bring all of them into the job. They bring all of their skills, all of their strengths and sometimes all of their weaknesses, so you want to be aware of this, but really they bring all of themselves into the job.
I often advise my business owners or my managers or the chief executives to go beyond expressing the profit and loss to your team. Explain why your company or why your organization exists. How does your organization change your community? What is the impact of the team on what the organization does? What impact does it have on society, or on your immediate community? Talk about those things so your team understands why you are passionate about the things you're passionate about.
6. Be Transparent
Be transparent, share everything that can share about your organization, about the project. Are you making money? Are you losing money? Do you have some challenges? When you are transparent, people will trust you and when they trust you it improves the morale of the group.
You want a group with high morale. You want a group that trusts each other. A group where you say set a goal, the team is hundred and ten percent behind you. You can not achieve complete devotion if you're not transparent with your group.
An example of transparency at work
I remember when I was working with an organization, the assistant director would come to meet with us. Sometimes we would have a potluck (he would bring something to the potluck) where he would come to tell us what was happening in the organization. He shared the good and the bad in a relatable way. He comes around to tells us when we are doing well, and also when we need to do better. Sometimes, there's nothing we can do and he lets us know that as well.
What did this do to us? It made us feel important, it made us feel like we're part of the group. It made us trust him. So he was effective in communicating with us because he was transparent about the good, and about the bad.
If you are a business owner or team leader, and you are wondering about how to improve communication within a team, the six tips above are a few things you can start to do today.
Leave your comments below and let me know what you have tried.