Strategies for Improving Communication in High-Performance Teams

High-Performance teams can be of various types depending upon the objectives or the goals which are required to be fulfilled, which can be distinguished on the basis of the characteristics. Communication is the most pertinent factor which determines the level of cohesion or effectiveness of a team.

According to the research study conducted by Ashridge Business School, communication takes almost 50%-70% of the team of a leader for providing a strong foundation to the high-performance team.

In such teams, the members should be able to competencies in handling interactions and communicating with others in terms of giving and receiving feedback, conflict resolution or handling disagreements.

The success of a high-performance team will depend upon the strategies of communication which is followed by a leader for keeping all the team members informed about the major decisions and involving them in the process.

Communication strategies do play a pivotal role in facilitating a positive change in the organizational environment and boosting high-performance. A comprehensive communication strategy sets the direction and the tone for progressive reforms and strengthens the relationship between the team members.

Effective communication make every team member more focused towards their goals and exchange of feedback on the possible areas of improvements and strengths. It has a considerable impact on the organization’s capacity to learn, evolve and innovate.

  • By Meeting Regularly: By holding regular meetings, all the team members can be involved and informed about the major project related decisions or strategic changes. Frequent meetings helps in providing an equal or a fair chance or an opportunity to the team member to voice out their ideas or share certain status updates.

    For reducing the possible time wastage in a meeting, the meeting should be scheduled for not more than 50 minutes, as that will provide enough time to all the team members to share their views and handle the required administrative requirements.

    To ensure that the meetings are held within the schedule, the following steps can be followed:

    1. Entrusting someone with the responsibility of timekeeping for monitoring the time continuously.
    2. Distribution of the agenda of the meeting to all the team members before the commencement of the meeting.
    3. Requesting the members of the team to be prepared with the issues or the key agenda items which they would like to highlight in the meeting.
    4. Unless the issue is urgent, keep the non-agenda item as the last priority or to be discussed later so that unnecessary time is not wasted on insignificant matters.
    5. The next meeting should be schedules in advance and needs to be informed to the team members accordingly. The team members can maintain a record of all the issues or topics of discussion which they may wish to carry forth in the next meeting.

  • Practising Inclusiveness: Inclusiveness implies involving every member of the team in the team’s decisions or ensuring that important communication or information in the form of reports should be sent to each member of the team.

    During the kick-off meeting, the leader of the team should start with taking the consent of all the team members on their preferred modes of communication. Unlike sharing the reports via emails, a portal could be developed that may serve as a central hub for exchanging information, reports and participating in conversation having the involvement of each team member.

  • Ensuring Transparency, Clarity and Conciseness: Transparency, clarity and conciseness can be ensured by taking care of the following pointers before indulging in any kind of communication activity:
    1. Understanding the objective or the purpose of communication.
    2. Paying attention to the audiences and their background. Are they the team members, vendors, clients or stakeholders)
    3. Clarity on the desired outcomes.
    4. Selection of the best medium of communication for realizing the pre-defined objectives by setting the processes in place and ensuring effective communication across the team.

  • The Team Member should have High Respect for Each other: All the team members must value the presence of every team member and regardless of their position in the hierarchical framework all members should respect each other. The members of the team should be given the liberty to express their thoughts freely or communicate with others without any fear of being subjected to ridicule or criticism.
  • Cohesive teams deliver exemplary outcomes and achieve superior benchmarks in the projects by practising equity and having respect for each other’s position as a vital member in the team.

  • Using online tools for communicating and collaborating: Online tools facilitate convenience in the handling of assignments and facilitates free flow of communication amongst the team members and also the stakeholders. The team members evolve their own procedures and practices for information exchange or communication between the team members.

    Advancements in the field of communication technology have provided a broad array of choices for choosing the best of the communication tools or methods for passing on the information.

To conclude, effective communication strategy should pay a great deal of importance to the following factors:

  • The team members should carefully plan their communication keeping in view the organization’s interest.
  • Ensuring the delivery of clear messages across all parts of the organization.
  • Ensuring that the messages to be sent are simple, easy to comprehend with minimum interpreters or filters which can cause unnecessary communication misunderstandings.
  • Effective communication strategy should be able to inspire and invigorate the team members for delivering excellence at work.
  • Whatever is being communicated, the messages composed should be user-friendly, easy to access and have a personal undertone.
  • Multiple channels should be used for disseminating the information. The information should be equally accessible to all the team members irrespective of their position or level in the hierarchy.
  • Effective communication can take place in an environment of trust and openness.
  • Communication strategies set the dimension or the processes in place for the people to deliver the best of the professional outcomes.
  • The members of the high-performance teams indulge in multi-directional communication for delivering quick and measurable results in terms of improved profitability or the achievement of the project goals.

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