Effective Communication in Teams

At one point or another, we’ve all worked in a group or team. Let’s face it—sometimes it’s not always the most pleasant experience. However, as students and as future communications professionals, interacting in small groups or teams is part of our job. Sometimes we may be in charge of the group, delegating who does what, deciding on deadlines or coming up with new ideas, which not everyone will always agree on. Sometimes our teammates may complain, argue or just downright ignore what needs to be done. If you are in charge of a group or a team, taking some effective communication skills into consideration will help things to run smoothly. Here are some tips:

• When starting a project, be sure everyone understands what the goals of the team are.
• When conveying an assignment, speak slowly and carefully to avoid error. Make your points in a logical manner.
• Provide logical explanations as to why you made the decisions you did; include accurate facts and details.
• Be sure to provide useful and reasonable feedback to all group members.
• Ask for input about upcoming plans and for feedback on previous projects from all group members. Be open-minded to new ideas.
• If you or someone in the group does not understand something, be sure to have it explained before moving on to a new idea or project.
• When answering a group member’s question, be sure to repeat the question when responding, to make sure you understood correctly.
• If there are any misunderstandings or arguments within the group, clear them up in a calm and professional manner.
• If you are angry, do not make rash decisions that will affect the entire group. Cool down before coming to a conclusion.
• Finally, stay conscious of your body language. Many times, it is more effective than what you say. By conveying negative body language, you are conveying a negative message to the team, which leads to mediocre work.

To learn more, visit http://www.buzzle.com/articles/team-leadership/.

This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kaitlin Tully.

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