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Get Your Team Communicating

There is something very special about a highly performing team. It’s not just in the fact that their output is significantly higher than other teams, their error rate is lower and their productivity rate on or better than target. What is most significant is that they seem to have an uncanny sense of what is going on in the team, where jobs are up to, who needs help, what issues are impacting their performance and how each individual contributes to team success. In fact, we have often heard remarked of highly performing teams that they seem to know what each team member is thinking.

No, it’s not some form of ESP but the fact that these teams recognise and understand the importance of communication in their daily activities. The reason team members seem to know what each other is thinking is merely a result of constant communication. These teams talk to one another, encourage one another and interact with one another all the time. But this is not idle chatter. Excellent team communication revolves around the strong common purpose the team shares which, in turn, need each team member to be accountable and responsible for the performance of their teammates, as well as themselves.

Excellent team communication does not take months or even years to develop. We have seen some teams whose team members have never worked together, develop this level of communication within a few weeks! And when you ask the team members how they managed it, their response is always the same:

  • They knew what they had to achieve and ensured everyone was on the same page
  • They quickly established the roles (both formal and informal) team members needed to play
  • They discussed how work was to be done
  • Through questioning and general discussion, agreed how to work and
  • From then, just kept keeping one another informed, spent time debriefing each day and encouraged one another
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