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There are many benefits of participating in teamwork exercises in any job environment. The most notable among these benefits is that it increases productivity, improves workforce performance, and boosts morale (Beauchamp & Baran, 2017). The most important factor in the process of building a successful team is effective communication. To develop meaningful team coordination, one must first consider the negative and positive effects of communication on teamwork tasks. This is a requirement designed to improve and encourage healthy communication practices. Ways of effective communication within the team include identifying the team, offering platforms for communication and sharing of information, and promoting meetings of the group. Sometimes communication breakdowns occur. To prevent them it is important to promote rotations and build good relationships based on trust.
Teamwork and Communication Breakdown
Reflection on Personal Experiences
Most of the group work that has been successfully accomplished so far has been achieved through communication channels such as emails and discussion boards. These channels involve written communication applications and have proved to be extremely efficient. During teamwork processes, every team member was able to deliver their assigned tasks, besides communicating frequently and effectively in making sure that everyone was updated throughout various processes. Not only did this keep everyone abreast with task development but it also ensured that such tasks were completed successfully. In our future engagements, we plan to improve the levels of communication by adopting voice chat channels. This is one of the most viable and effective communication channels to use during talking portions of our assignments.
Effectively Communicating in Teamwork
Identifying the Team
Despite sounding obvious, this is one of the most effective method of communicating within teamwork. This involves specifying and identifying every team member to each other and ensuring that everyone knows who belongs to the team. This is followed by correctly clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each team member. These are crucial steps that will enable team members to know and understand whom to communicate to for specific reasons (Beauchamp & Baran, 2017). Identifying team members is a method that streamlines communication within the team.
Development of Procedures
Essentially, some contexts makes certain procedures to be seen as cumbersome when compared to their level of efficiency. However, such is not the case when considering communication as the process of outlining or enforcing certain procedures regarding common needs within a team, eliminates misunderstandings and confusions (Beauchamp & Baran, 2017). This is mainly due to the fact that it provides team members with plan of actions that are clear cut. For instance, team members may require specific requests to be communicated through emails, voice chats or discussion boards. In addition, they could develop a sheet that details how each team member wants to be reached or contacted at certain times.
Offering Platforms for Information Sharing
Developing platforms will enable employees to share new project ideas, updates, concerns, opinions as well as pressing questions (Beauchamp & Baran, 2017). A platform is an effective way of ensuring that teams are kept in regular contact with each other. In addition, it reduces the need of relying on formal meetings or emails, which may not be effective communication channels as they may be time consuming. This type of communication can be enhanced by distributing tools of communication such as newsletters in an effort of keeping every member on the same page.
Promoting and Facilitating Casual Communication
One of the most effective method of team communication is promoting casual or informal communications either through walks, during midday breaks or at the coffee or cooler points (Beauchamp & Baran, 2017). Instead of wasting time, members will be able to build positive relationships with each other. The most positive outcome from this type of communication is the fact that team members will be able to discuss each other’s’ characters and hence, establish rapport. Consequently, when team members know, understand and care about each other, they will be able to discover each other’s communication styles and this will enhance team’s productivity.
Action Plan in case of Communication Breakdowns
Investing in Collaborating Systems and Tools
This strategy is efficient as it helps team members cross function or work together in the accomplishment of certain tasks. During the fact attempt, this strategy may not be easy or effective due to certain factors such as diverging jargons as well as certain team member’s attitudes, beliefs or culture. This will force them to step into each other’s shoes with an attempt of establishing a common ground. This is the best strategy of eliminating communication breakdown as team members will be forced to discover a unified voice, besides defining a set of shared goals or objectives (Peragine & Hudgins, 2016).
Creating Team culture
The most functional strategy is developing and implementing a culture of accessibility and openness in order to curb communication breakdown (Peragine & Hudgins, 2016). This will tend to eliminate the culture of ‘me’ or ‘us’ versus ‘them’ kinds of arguments and misunderstandings within the team. This strategy is more likely to cultivate the culture of seeking solutions as well as processes when compared to other team’s capabilities and goals.
Preventing Communication Breakdowns
Communication breakdowns often occur when team work fails to encourage flexibility when considering specific capabilities, skills and knowledge of various team members. This way, team members are not confined in their specialties but are encouraged to explore other roles and responsibilities. This will eventually promote the culture of communication as they seek to learn, discover and get information regarding different disciplines of operations. Moreover, this strategy will present them with opportunities of succeeding in other areas that they previous had no interest in (Peragine & Hudgins, 2016).
The most important step towards the process of eliminating communication breakdown between team members is building trust. Trust attracts openness between team members and they often enhance effective communication in the accomplishment of various tasks (Peragine & Hudgins, 2016). It is therefore important to continuously communicate the importance of developing trust within the team and thus, encourage team members to collaborate with each other so as to achieve common goals and objectives and eliminate the prospects of communication breakdowns.
Overcoming communication barriers or breakdown may be challenging but can also result to positive outcomes. The most viable method of fixing communication breakdown when they occur is establishing a rewarding system (Peragine & Hudgins, 2016). This way, any team member who will be able to overcome communication breakdown will be rewarded by the team. However, this strategy will involve full participation of every team members.
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Beauchamp, S.R., & Baran, S.J. (2017). Introduction to human communication: Perception, meaning, and identity.
Peragine, J., & Hudgins, G. (2016). 365 Low or No Cost Workplace Teambuilding Activities: Games and Exercised Designed to Build Trust & Encourage Teamwork Among Employees. Ocala: Atlantic Publishing Group.
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