11 Jan

11 January 2022

Communication affects teamwork in positive and negative ways.

Everyone needs to learn how to communicate effectively to improve teamwork.

When a team is not actively and effectively communicating, their work is at stake. With many work environments remaining remote, communicating can become increasingly difficult. Although team members are in constant communication through different channels like zoom meetings, emails, work chat groups, messaging or calls, active communication does not always equal effective communication.
Over a screen, team members are not able to convey emotions and tones to the message recipient. This can lead to miscommunication and confusion, making it essential to teach team members to be mindful of their communication style.

The more collaboration your projects require, the more assertive and intentional your communication should be. Every member of the team needs to take the initiative to communicate. In today’s blog, UASA has a few tips to guide workers through effective communication for both remote and office workers:

Listen to facilitate effective team communication

A good speaker is a good listener
Learning how to communicate more effectively also means taking more notice. It is important to begin and end any form of communication with listening. Good listening skills will help you engage in communication regarding what the other person is speaking about. Avoid the impulse to listen only for the end of their sentence so that you can blurt out your thoughts and ideas. This does not mean you should ask an endless string of questions, but be sure that you are taking the time to truly understand what other people are saying and what they mean, especially over Zoom and other virtual video platforms.

Be mindful of your messaging
Work situations can get emotional, which can influence your clarity. Stay on topic, use the correct words and articulate. If you are not sure of the meaning of a word, do not use it. When you use the wrong words, you will not be understood and people will doubt your competency the more it happens. Take more time to think about the words you use and how you think your co-worker will interpret them. It is also important to avoid mixed messages. If you need more time to complete a thought before communicating about your ideas, take it. Schedule a time for your conversation later in the day or week. The timing of your message is just as critical as the execution. Assess their mood, and use that as a gauge.

Practice how you communicate with your co-workers
Good teamwork starts with a shared understanding of its importance. Communication bridges teams together and needs to be practiced to ensure a team is working smoothly and efficiently.

There are some additional tactics for effective team communication that you can practice within conversations or on your own:

• Slow down – do not speak just to respond too quickly.
• Speak clearly and do not mumble.
• Use appropriate tone.
• Write things down.
• Close the loop and finish all conversation on a clear note.

Moving to a remote workplace can add a barrier to effective team communication if you are not taking active steps to educate your team on best practices. Now it is more essential than ever to take additional measures to bring your team together and ensure they are communicating mindfully.

Ref: www.teambonding.com www.uasa.org.za

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