Every good leader knows communication is key when it comes to developing a strong team. When teams are able to positively express and exchange ideas, it fosters trust, loyalty and transparency—all of which are essential for team members to work together cohesively.
If one employee is feeling less than stellar about team communication, it could negatively affect the entire group dynamic. That’s why it’s so important for leaders to prioritize and encourage open conversations among their direct reports.
To help you do this, 15 members of Forbes Business Council shared some key components of fantastic team communication.
3. Develop Trust
If a team lacks trust, they will be unable to effectively communicate with honesty and clarity. When trust is in play, team members are more open to hearing feedback and sharing opinions. They will communicate more frequently and ultimately will have more effective communication. – Ryan Vet, Third Hospitality
4. Take The Lead
Fantastic team communication starts with the leader. The leader has to set the tone and environment to allow for fluid, expressive and meaningful conversation to take place without the speaker or those that agree with the speaker feeling judged or fearful for speaking up, even when the comment or concern counters the majority. – William Hudson, Texas Medical Center
5. Engage Daily
The main strength of the team is when each team member is available to support and listen to each other. Allowing them to communicate daily with each other on complex projects, give feedback to each other and share the responsibility. The team should engage daily, be transparent about the process and have access to all the information. – Sanket Shah, InVideo Innovation Pte Ltd.
6. Encourage Empathy
Empathy is the key to productive, effective communication. Empathy means stepping into the mindset of those you are communicating with and leveraging that insight to shape the form and content of what is communicated. Empathy requires trust, candor and a willingness to be vulnerable. To truly hear others and have others fully hear us, we must first learn to see the world from their perspective. – Gaurav Tewari, Omega Venture Partners
7. Embrace Digital Tools
Embrace digital tools for knowledge sharing. Many companies are in remote or hybrid work environments, so it is essential to utilize digital communication tools. With some teams spread across the world, employees can use various digital tools from mobile apps to shared workspaces and communication platforms to remain engaged and successfully share knowledge and information to work more efficiently. – Peggy Choi, Lynk
8. Foster Safe Spaces
Psychological safety is key to fueling fantastic team communication and collaboration. When team members feel they can be themselves and be vulnerable without the risk of judgment from others, communications can be more authentic and enriching. In such environments, the brain’s threat alert system tones down, therefore allowing people to feel more connected with the team and with their work. – Andreea Vanacker, SPARKX5
9. Utilize Humor
It’s probably not intuitive, but I think taking the edge off of tough conversations with self-deprecation and humor goes a long way toward establishing great working relationships. We have a lot of inside jokes here and many were used on annual reviews to break the ice. – Michelle Lyng, Novitas Communications
10. Celebrate Successes
In remote environments, proactively celebrating each other’s successes is essential to building team spirit and creating room for honest feedback. When we’re alone with our screens, it’s easy to feel like our work is going unnoticed or to feel anxiety about our performance. Regularly expressing how much we value each other’s contributions demystifies the emotional space around work. – David Wagoner, P3 Media
11. Have A Foundational Communication System
Be consistent in the speed and preferred avenue of communication. There currently exist so many different avenues to communicate, which often can result in fragmented or piecemeal communications. Having a specific foundational system for communication like instant messaging or email and prioritizing real-time updates and questions will enable your team to communicate like never before! – Udi Dorner, SetSchedule
12. Share Pertinent Information
Consistent and transparent communication is critical, especially in today’s hybrid and remote-first environment. Ensure team members have the information they need to understand the larger company vision, as well as details they need to perform their day-to-day jobs. If team members are not aligned on what expected outcome to work towards, there will inevitably be breakdowns in communication. – John Swigart, Pie Insurance
13. ‘Put It All On The Table’
Leverage the concept of “putting it all on the table.” If a safe collaborative environment is created, it allows for the team to simply put things on the table versus leaving them under. If we can bring things to the top and talk about them, we can make quick decisions and move the team in the right direction. – Scott Snider, Exit Planning Institute
14. Promote Transparency
There’s no shortcut to transparency; it has to be actively sought out. When we first started out, we were just two founders that had to talk to each other. Now that our business has grown, the conversations have shifted to include more people. We’ve had to prioritize changing our mindsets and encouraging open and clear communication across all levels of the business. – Ted Dhillon, FigBytes
15. Approach Processes With Curiosity
Remove the blame from errors and mistakes, and instead, approach each with curiosity to improve the process. By removing blame and looking purely at the process, team members feel safer in communicating errors and mistakes, thus allowing for process improvement to take place. This safe communication is key when building a culture of innovation, excellence and advancement. – Kevin Coker, Proxima Clinical Research, Inc.
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