Effective communication with your teammates fosters a healthy, happy team. It creates synergy and empowers your team to do their best for themselves and for the team as a whole. Creativity will flow. Tasks and projects will be completed more efficiently. In order for any relationship to thrive, healthy, genuine communication needs to be the cornerstone from which everything else flows.
My Personal Story
I’m happy to announce that after 14 years of being divorced after a long-term marriage, and after living in the crucible of sanctified loneliness on and off through those years, I’ve fallen in love with a man of God from church. You may say hurray but also ask what that has to do with a blog on communicating with your team. My answer is, it has EVERYTHING to do with it!
You see, my new boo and I set a precedence of strong, healthy communication from our first conversation. We asked, and continue to ask, questions – lots of questions – hard questions – about family, past relationships, goals, dreams, fears, and everything else under the sun. It has helped us build emotional intimacy as well as establish a pattern of keeping it 100 (genuine, honest, forthright).
Ok, so this is not a love story blog, it’s about communicating… so we continue…
Here are some key principles on how to communicate with your teammates, whether it’s a sports team, business team, or a romantic team:
1. Learn the verbal and non-verbal cues when you talk to your teammate. Look for guarded posture as well as facial movement. And, as they say, the eyes are the window to the soul so study the eyes carefully to look for shifting and roaming.
2. Study the communication style of your teammate. Really listen to what they’re saying and repeat back what they said if it’s not clear. Seek to understand any messages behind what’s being said.
3. Allow “air-time” for any issues or grievances that crop up with your teammate. If issues are ignored, they are swept under the carpet and in the end all you’ll have left is a lumpy carpet with a bunch of dirtballs. Confront issues head on with a loving, gentle, receptive spirit but don’t be afraid to show a little verbal toughness when necessary.
4. Ask questions of your teammates. Don’t shy away from asking a variety of questions. Questions can reveal the character and intentions of your teammate. Encourage your teammate to ask questions of you too!
5. Use humor with your teammate. Setting a light tone can help teammates open up. Using humor can lighten the atmosphere and foster healthy communication, even for tougher topics. Of course, there is a time to get serious but humor can most often ease the tenseness of tackling sensitive subjects.