Global competition and global opportunities are compelling today’s organizations into making extensive use of work teams. Employees are encouraged to work and communicate collaboratively to solve complex workplace problems. Thus, competent communicators need to develop communication skills for working in small groups.
Communication Within Work Teams
Communication within work teams is a two way process. Active listening must be practiced and feedback should be encouraged. Employees should be able to identify communication barriers and recognize common causes of misunderstanding within their work team. They must also know how to effectively use verbal and nonverbal communications.
If we would like our message to reach the receiver, we have to make sure that we have the other person’s attention. Distractions must be avoided and genuine respect should be shown so that each member of the work team understands the other. There must be an uninhibited stream of input from the receiver to ensure that the correct degree of understanding is attained.
Body language, or nonverbal communication, also plays an important role in how we communicate for success. Some experts contend that 93 percent of the messages we convey are nonverbal. Cultures differ in the importance they associate with nonverbal communication. When your words and your body language are out of synchronization, you don’t make sense. The key to using effective body language is understanding how your expressions, gestures, eye contact, use of space, postures, and all the other aspects of nonverbal communication will most likely be interpreted by other team members and how those interpretations may influence the observers’ behavior.
By understanding how to communicate in work teams, you will be able to participate more effectively. Good communication skills are vital to your success within a work team and within an organization.
By Shirley J. Caruso, M.A., Human Resource Development