Communication skills are critical in both our personal and professional life. However, it is a fact that not everyone is adept in communicating their ideas and thoughts in the most effective manner. As managers, how can we ensure that individual limitations in communication do not affect team communication skills?
Understanding communication: If you want to teach the team members to communicate effectively, you need to first make them aware of the importance of communication skills and why they need it. Communication is not only verbal communication but also written communication which includes writing mails reports, presentations and so on. Body language is another important non-verbal mode of communication. Therefore, it is important to educate team players about both aspects and their importance for the team. It ensures the team players follow business etiquette while communicating.
Group meetings: Organizing group meetings and discussions paves the way to improve team communication. It gives a chance to every members of the team to participate by sharing ideas and viewpoints. Thus, they get the opportunity to shed their inhibitions and garner courage to share their views with the rest of the group.
Team communication activities: Participating in some team communication exercises such as “walk the talk”, “colors of the day” and so on can help in developing effective team communication skills. For example, in the case of “walk the talk”, one person is blind folded (designated as a follower) while the other (the leader) guides him through a full path of obstacles. The leader develops a style of communication that helps others to understand him/ her easily.
Effective listening: This is another important tool to improve team communication skills. Listen to others and use their suggestions if required.
It is thus essential that a manager or a team leader make a conscious effort to develop communication skills within the team for successful attainment of team objectives.