Team effectiveness is dependent upon team communication. The quality of the team’s work, to a large extent, depends upon the quality of the information shared. The ability of team members to understand and communicate information enables them to work together collaboratively.

Members should come into the team with understanding and acceptance of the fact that they are working with other people who will have different ideas and different ways of looking at things. No one should come to the group with personal prejudices but with a willingness to listen to ideas no matter where they come from. Team members should keep in mind that the bottom line is reaching the goal(s) they have set.

We take communication for granted; we will look at 4 main areas – speaking, listening, writing and reading.

Writing and Reading  

It has been written that the written word is the best form of communication that has ever been invented. In books and magazines we can read about any subject in the world. We can do this anywhere and at any time. More books have been written than any of us could read even in twenty lifetimes.

Listening and speaking

It has also been written that good listening is arguably one of the most important skills to have in today’s complex world. Nearly every aspect of human life could be improved by better listening — from family matters to corporate business affairs to international relations.

“A man who listens because he has nothing to say can hardly be a source of inspiration. The only listening that counts is that of the talker who alternatively absorbs and expresses ideas.” — Agnes Repplier

Most of us are terrible listeners. We’re such poor listeners, in fact, that we don’t know how much we’re missing.  The following are eight common barriers to good listening; the site below gives suggestions for overcoming each.

  • Knowing the answer
  • Trying to be helpful
  • Treating discussion as competition
  • Trying to influence or impress
  • Reacting to red flag words
  • Believing in language
  • Mixing up the forest and the trees
  • Over-splitting or over-lumping

Next:  Meetings