How To Develop Healthy Team Communication

How do you develop healthy and productive team communication?

Good teams start as great ideas in the mind of an individual. Look at Fortune 500 companies, all started as ideas in the mind of an individual then made manifest by partnership of "like-minded" people.

Effective communication unlocks every million dollar idea.

On a effective team, people make good business decisions.

Good decisions pull your team toward its goals, bad decisions block progress.

But how many times have you had a team leader or a boss that guarded or hid information? What does it feel like? Makes it hard to do your job.

It's hard to make good, educated decisions in an information vacuum.

Communication - the human connection--is the key to personal and career success.

--Paul J. Meyer

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Team members must be held accountable for their actions. On a team where communication doesn't flow freely throughout the corporation, how can people be held accountable for their actions when they don't have access to key information?

They can't (or shouldn't), but they often are. So every time critical information is lost within the communication funnel your team loses. . . trust, confidence, loyalty.

The solution seems simple enough. If you want an empowered team you must establish an environment of free-flowing communication and information.

Keep no secrets on a healthy team

People from top to bottom of your organization need to know the objectives of their team in the grand scheme. Building effective communication within your team depends upon people's understanding of the inner-workings of their company. They should know how their company creates revenue. Where the company stands financially.

People take ownership over their position when they know their responsibilities and expectations of them within the organization. . . it's up to you to keep them informed.

So what kind of information do you need to know in order to make good business decisions?

When people understand their position, their role, in the larger picture of the organization they can conceptually "buy in" to what your team is doing.

On the other hand, when you limit people to the amount of information they receive they resent it, they resent the team, and they resent you as their leader. It reeks of the "old guard" hierarchy of protected company secrets.

Teach your staff the practices and skills to participate within and run effective productive teams. 

Building Effective Teams

Avoid Overload: Scale Information

When you grant all team members access to the same information their "leaders" have, they automatically become partners in the company. But, piling a ton of information and responsibility on everyone regardless of their experience and position creates a recipe for burnout and team overload.

Scaling the amount and type of information people are presented with on a day-to-day basis, from simple to increasingly complex makes sense. As people improve their understanding of their position, the inner-workings of the team and organization in the workplace.

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing--Rollo May

Fertilize Responsibility By Sharing Information

If you really want your team communication to improve you must foster an environment of responsibility. People must "buy in" to what your team is doing.

Don't just tell people why their job is important, show them how their actions effect the bottom line of the company. Share honestly with people why the information they're being presented with needs to be kept within the boundaries of your team. That's how you plant the seeds of partnership, ownership, and empowerment - true team building and communication.

Million Dollar Feedback

When you open free-flowing channels of communication and information sharing throughout your team, you also open the channels from your team back to you.

With healthy team communication, information comes back to you in the form of priceless feedback.

No longer is your organization a dark pit where information goes in but never returns. You will hear it when people are happy, you will hear it when people are not. Free-flowing information and communication within a team setting benefits everyone with increased knowledge and feedback.

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