Improve Team Communication
It’s common for people to feel frustrated with the way others communicate with us because we all have different communication preferences. We may think we are communicating in a healthy way, but if our style is not the same as the people we are communicating with, we may actually be damaging our relationships and reducing our effectiveness.
The only way to be sure we are communicating effectively is to ask each other discovery questions and then adjust our behaviors accordingly.
Here are 7 questions you can ask each team member to learn about their communication preferences:
- When I have an important question or information to share with you, do you want me to reach out to you immediately, or do you prefer for me to schedule an appointment?
- When I need you for something, how do you prefer that I let you know?
- Do you prefer that I get straight to the point or provide you with context before making my point or asking a question?
- When we meet, how much time do you like to spend connecting personally before diving into business?
- How much preparation time and information do you want to have before we meet to discuss an important topic?
- Do you prefer written or spoken instructions?
- What else would you like me to know about your communication preferences?
It’s completely normal for someone to answer any or all of these questions with “It depends.” In fact, that’s helpful, because it provides more information and explanation about our preferences.
- Provide the list of questions to the team.
- Ask each team member to schedule a 30-minute call with each team member to discuss these questions with each other.
- Set a deadline for which all the calls are to be completed.
- Meet and ask each person to share what they learned and one example of how they have adjusted their communication style to better work with a team member.
We all have different communication styles. Therefore, it's important to ask discovery questions and change the behavior to make sure we communicate effectively with each other. This team building activity helps us ask discovery questions in order to improve team communication with each other.
About the Author: Leigh Ann Rodgers, Founder of Better Teams and the Forward, community, is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator with 20 years of experience in the human development field. Leigh Ann is a skilled meeting facilitator, trainer, and coach working across the globe to help leaders cultivate teams that are happy and high-performing.
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