Tag: Communication

The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

The Importance of Showing Trust in Your Team of Leaders

Your team of leaders is made up out of individuals with unique traits and qualities. You should always remember that they made it onto your team for a reason. Trust that you have taught them well and rely on them to do a good job.

Related: Trust Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Do Not Micromanage

There is sometimes a thin line between assuring your team leaders do an excellent job and micromanaging them. You have to resist the temptation to check constantly in on them and offer your input randomly. Resist the temptation by trusting your leaders and their abilities. Allow your team leaders to seek accountability for their actions and own their responsibilities. Team leaders, usually, perform better when they feel in charge and do not feel as though you are breathing down their neck.

You can take the following steps to ensure that you do not have to micromanage your leaders:

  • Make your team leaders accountable
  • Hire the right people from the start
  • Clearly outline your expectations of your leaders

Communication

It is essential to promote open and honest communication among your team leaders. Allow everyone to give their input, be responsive to your leaders and support feedback from others. Open and honest communication builds respect among the team and helps build trust.

Tips for enhancing open and honest communication:

  • Have an open door policy
  • Ask questions frequently
  • Give everyone a chance to speak

Related: Leadership Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Encourage Initiative

Always look for an opportunity to reward and encourage initiative among your team leaders. Reward your team leaders when they take on more initiative. Rewards can include recognition, gifts or promotions.  A team leader that feels rewarded for their hard work are more likely to take pride in their work and continue doing a good job. Remember to recognize the initiative itself, and not just the outcome.

Trust the Leaders, but Verify the Work

You can’t always assume the job is done right. There are times when work needs to be verified or reviewed. This should not be done through micromanaging, but involves periodic steps of checking in or verifying the leader’s work.  Verifying can be done by asking the team leader to send you an email when they are finished with a certain task. You can also set yourself reminders to speak with the team leader in person to check on the progress. By taking a few minutes to look over any project periodically, you can save everyone a lot of time and man hours in the event that something needs to be corrected.

Image Source: Anita Nowack

 

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Communicating with Your Team – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Non-Verbal Communication

Your body language, voice intonation and use of silence can speak louder than the words you use. By improving on your non-verbal communication skills, you can ensure that you are sending the right message to your team.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Communicating Through Your Body Language

Body language includes your posture, facial expression, gestures, and bodily movements. More often than not your team will pay more attention to your body language than to what you are saying. If one’s body language is inconsistent with the verbal message, the verbal message loses credibility.

Body language includes the following aspects:

  • Eye contact is one of the most crucial aspects of body language. Steady eye contact indicates that you are paying attention while the lack of eye contact can be viewed as defensiveness, nervousness or social withdrawal.
  • Facial expressions can usually be linked to certain emotionsAnger is often revealed by sharp stares, crunched eyebrows and the baring of teeth. Teary eyes and drooping lips usually indicate sadness.
  • Posture also plays a critical role in non-verbal communication. Slumping in a chair is often seen as a sign of disrespect and inattention. Walking with one’s head and shoulders down can be interpreted as a sign of nervousness or low self-esteem. Traditionally puffing out one’s chest is interpreted as pride.
  • Specific movements are associated with certain messages. Nodding is a sign of agreement and raising fists are normally interpreted as a challenge or sign of anger. Frustration is often indicated by the stomping of feet.
  • Physical contact forms part of body language.  Handshakes, hugging, slapping and punching all form part of communication.

How You Say Something is Important

The way you deliver information to your team is crucial and forms part of non-verbal communication. A change in tone or inflection can change the way a statement is interpreted.

  • Your tone of voice is the way you use changing pitch to convey a message. The same message can be delivered using a rising, dipping or falling intonation. Changes of tone can make a message upbeat or depressing depending on the speaker’s tone. Changes in tone help identify the purpose of a sentence.
  • The meaning of a word can change by emphasizing different words or syllables.
  • Pace and rhythm place a role in how your team perceives a message. The speed of your speech and the use of pauses can change the meaning of the words spoken. If you speak too quickly your team my find it difficult to understand you but if you speak too slowly they may become bored.
  • Volume is important and how softly or loudly you speak matters in communication. A too soft voice can communicate nervousness or lack of assertiveness while a loud voice can communicate anger or aggression.
  • Pronunciation and enunciation play a role in how well a message comes across. You need to develop your skills in pronunciation and enunciation to ensure that your team understands you correctly.

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Identifying Barriers to Communication in Your Team

Identifying Barriers to Communication

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Access Our Ultimate Guide for Building Better Communication in Your Team

Communication is not as simple as one person talking and another person listening or one person writing and another person reading. Communication is a complicated process, and there are various barriers that can affect clear communication within your team. In this blog we will take a look at some of the most common barriers and how to minimize their impact on communication within your team. Barriers to communication can be divided into three main categories namely language, culture and location.

Related: Communication Outcome Based Team Building Activities

Language as a Communication Barrier in Teams

Language is one of the most common communication barriers that can exist within a team. This may occur because team members speak different languages, the language being used is not everyone’s first language or the team members all speak the same language but have different dialects. To reduce the impact of language barriers, it is essential to recognize that the barrier exists and identify ways to minimize the impact of it. Pictures are a universal language, and can be used to communicate across language barriers. If you are required to communicate with a person over a long period you will have to find a common language or consider hiring a translator.

Culture as a Communication Barrier in Teams

Words or gestures can mean different things to different cultures. The members of your team may be from a different culture, class or lifestyle which can hinder communication. One way to overcome this barrier is to find out as much as possible about the culture of your team members and how it differs to your culture. Identify potential areas of misunderstanding in order to prevent or resolve communication problems that may occur. If you do not have time to prepare, ask about cultural differences as you notice them and encourage questions about your own culture. Ask questions that are curious but never judgmental or resentful.

Location as a Communication Barrier in Teams

Location defined by time or place can also be a barrier to effective communication within your team. These barriers arise when team members are located in different places and time zones. To control or overcome potential barriers when phoning a team member in a different place, it is useful to make small talk about the weather to get a idea of his/her physical environment. You can also ensure that telephone calls and meetings are set up at a time that is suitable for you both. Emails can be an effective time and location bridge as the recipient can read and respond to the message at a convenient time. However if it is something urgent or needs further explanation, email is not the best option.

Being aware of time differences can place pressure on time and can result in rushed communication. Either party could easily make assumptions or leaps of faith. It is essential always to ask the person you are communicating with to give you a playback no matter the time constraints involved. You will need to make the most of the communication time that you do have.

 

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