July 31, 2018
by Jernej P.

Effective team communication: 3 main lessons from experts

July 31, 2018
by Jernej P.

Talent might win games but, according to Michael Jordan, without teamwork you can’t win championships. And this doesn’t just go for the basketball court, in the corporate world your employees can be the best in the business but if they’re unable to ensure they’re working well as a team, you’re lost.

In the workplace, the best team leaders facilitate good team communication on and off screen, effective collaboration skills, easy flow of ideas and crucially critical and noncritical feedback given often.

A fine mix of all these elements makes a strong team, plus of course the technology in place to facilitate this kind of effective collaboration. If the infrastructure is in place, the company’s success rates and productivity will undoubtedly be boosted.

Loop team brainstorming
Collaboration is the key.

Don’t just take our word for it though. We’ve been speaking to CEO’s and their employees all over the world about their opinion on what it takes to lead a successful team and we’ve identified three common threads – facilitating open dialogue; ease of communication; giving critical feedback. Here’s what they had to say:

Facilitating open dialogue

Steffan Surdek, professional speaker and team building coach told us that being a voice amongst others in the conversation is key for the benefit of a strong team. He says “Good team leaders need to recognize the contributions of others in the work place. How are they supporting the conversation? How are they allowing others to contribute to the meeting? How well are they listening to others? Team leaders should value the contribution of others by paying close attention to what people are saying.”

He continues, “When someone brings up an interesting idea, the team should start focusing on how the group can build on it. They need to be a voice among many in the discussion by managing their impact when they speak, allowing space for others by making sure their own voice is not always the person speaking.”

Ease of communication

Once the open dialogue has been facilitated, communication needs to be easy and instantaneous. It’s no good the team being open to talking and your technology letting you down.

CEO at Luminosa, Nikolina Vuckovic believes “Feedback needs to be spoken and given anytime and in a way which is suited for that particular person. We can’t grow from general feedback given way after the event.”

This is even more important for teams spread over multiple offices. Jimmy Elias, Senior Designer at Publicis.Sapient says that the opportunity to work in a global network was what attracted him to the role. His advice though, “Collaboration and agile working are absolutely key for the best results”.

Critical feedback is crucial

Karima Mariama-Arthur, CEO, WordSmithRapport, agrees that leaders who prioritize interactive engagement are important for good teamwork, but communication openness doesn’t just go for group discussion and positive conversations. Critical feedback is just as important.

Karima comments, “Critical feedback, while not always easy to take, should be embraced as a core strategy for self-development and keeping the ego in check.”

Steffan is on the same page, “I think critical feedback shouldn’t be feared but we fear it out of fear of being uncomfortable or fear of being judged. When someone delivers difficult feedback with love, compassion and understanding it makes it something that is easier for people to receive and even desired in many ways.”

The way this kind of critical feedback, and all kinds of communication for that matter, is delivered is really important – how and when you’re delivering it equally.

Team working together
Teamwork makes the dreamwork.

Ask yourself honestly, are you providing your teams with the best communication infrastructure to enable them to collaborate effectively? Or are your existing systems, most likely a mix of traditional email and some new chat applications stuck on top, slowing them down?

We know that the right technology is out there. Technology that supports all the elements it takes to be a successful team – it allows you to collaborate, communicate and critique in real time effectively. How? It’s about revolutionizing your main technology platform, email, and bringing it up to date to support these key elements to support your team with added superpowers like chat and document sharing.

If you’re providing your teams with the tools they need to “talk together, spend time together and share work goals and dreams together”, as Steffan Surdek said, they’ll be able to produce truly outstanding work.

Jernej P.
Head Of Growth