Handling Team Challenges
Sooner or later working teams will experience communication challenges and disappointments in their progress. A creative idea may not be accepted by management, that extra money necessary to achieve a desired goal may be denied, some team members may not follow through on agreements, or feedback from management regarding progress may be less than enthusiastic. Research shows that team challenges are not the problem. How teams deal with them through effective team communication skills, however, could be.
In the workplace effective team communication skills are necessary to turn challenges into opportunities. These skills include:
- Awareness in perceiving the meaning of the message and not getting hung up in the words alone. Body language and tone of voice impact communication more than the words themselves.
- Giving non-judgmental feedback where team members can feel safe as they explore their difficulties or setbacks.
- Problem solving creatively so that problems become opportunities rather than paralyzing roadblocks.
- Regularly taking the team pulse by inviting feedback regarding concerns or questions that team members may have, thereby preempting unnecessary conflict.
Become An Opportunity person
People with effective team communication skills become ‘opportunity people.’ They refuse to pass judgment and become disheartened when plans get thwarted. What seems to keep them from slipping into this dark place is the willingness to take responsibility and ask ‘What could I do to help?’ ‘Opportunity people’ are poised to see possibilities in adversity and refuse to turn themselves over to the mercy of external forces.
Essential Communication Skills
Effective team communication skills enable team members to stay focused and work for a solution rather than giving up. They ask ‘What now?’ instead of ‘Why me?’ They trust their own judgment and believe they can get behind themselves to create progress. ‘Opportunity people’ refuse to accept that the situation is doing it to them. Having these skills makes people feel self reliant and resilient. Like everyone, ‘opportunity people’ experience and acknowledge hurt, and they refuse to get caught in the blame game. Instead, they ask, “What can I learn from this experience?”
Another important trait of ‘opportunity people’ on an effective team: communication skills that help them to anticipate adversity. For these people it’s not a matter of if; it’s a matter of when. In their wisdom, they are prepared for the inevitable. Thus, they are able to react more creatively and thoughtfully when adversity strikes. It’s similar to having a bank account set aside for a rainy day and available whenever you may need it. We all make much better choices if we don’t feel pressured into a decision.
‘Opportunity people’ with effective team communication skills claim their power and do not resist disappointments and setbacks but rather face them with confidence. When adversity strikes, they name it and are poised to respond with resolution. An ‘opportunity person’ sees adversity as a situation to be solved rather than a crisis to be dreaded. Having the skills to deal with our personal and interpersonal challenges, is what gives us the internal resources to handle these situations.
Become an ‘opportunity person’ – awake and ready to meet challenges presented. Sharpening our effective team communication skills is an on-going endeavor that enables us to face work challenges with courage and confidence. Forward looking leaders will ensure that their team members have on-going access to educational activities where their communication skills can always be up-graded. In essence, any effectiveness requires continual care. Progressive leaders will see that this happens for their teams.