One of the most important skills a leader contributes to an organization is the ability to communicate. Every day management communicates up to the C-Suite, externally to clients and prospects, across divisions with their peers, and within their own team. Effective team communication determines success or failure of a group. Through our executive coaching practice and leadership development programs Career Partners International (CPI) has over thirty years’ experience improving communication among leaders and their teams. Below are a few examples of poor communication frequently found in struggling teams.
Implied Expectations – Some managers fall into a habit of expecting their team members to read their minds. Expectations and outcomes should be clearly outlined to allow employees to operate at their highest potential. By taking the time to outline goals and expectations a manager also allows employees to ask clarifying questions and get everyone on the same page.
Lack of Upward Feedback – Occasionally employees find it difficult to express their thoughts to management. As the frontline, employees have valuable perspectives and input to provide. If there is a lack of trust between managers and employees, the employee may not feel comfortable enough to provide much needed input.
Meeting Fatigue – In a case of over communication, organizations are finding their employees time misspent with countless hours in meetings. Meetings are important in aligning a team but be sure they are run with an agenda and clear goals. Participants should walk away from a meeting with a clear understanding of what their role is and what the next steps are. If meetings are run without clear intention, they become a burden instead of a benefit.
Lack of Individual Feedback – Especially in younger generations, consistent personal feedback is highly valued. Waiting for quarterly or annual reviews to check in on an employee’s progress can cause a disconnect. Frequent communication leads to better on the job performance and a more engaged employee. This constant interaction helps cut off problems before they progress and encourages positive behavior.
Conflict Avoidance – A team, by definition, consists of multiple members, each with their own thoughts and personalities. Similar to providing upward feedback, teammates should be able to provide each other with dissenting opinions. By exploring new ideas and evaluating alternative approaches, teams become stronger and produce better results.
A team with strong communication skills is proven to be more efficient and drive significantly better returns than teams that are confused and unable to coordinate properly. CPI utilizes a variety of assessments to get to the heart of a team’s communication issues. Once the problem is diagnosed, our expert coaches craft a customized solution to eliminate the weakness and get the team on the right track. With improved communication comes stronger returns, a more engaged workforce, and a more achievement-oriented workplace.