In any work team, communication must be clear and consistent. Members of the team need to remain open to and actively seek diverse points of view to avoid falling into group think. It’s vital that each individual use his or her voice and be heard. Because we all have different preferences in how we give and receive information, this can be challenging. Finding the right balance of cooperativeness and assertiveness is a skill, one that is applied differently in teams than it is in one-to-one interactions. Teams that are new or have been assembled for a specific project may need to accelerate the process of establishing clear communication. They may not have time to get acquainted and to work out style differences.
Being adaptable in your own communication style and able to understand others’ styles is a unique skill, one that can be enhanced with tools like the DOPE test which we do with learners focused on improving communication.
It is not enough to do things well once, twice or a few times. We should do well continuously. Being consistent goes beyond your developed habit. It shows the level of your motivation and determination in pursuing success.
Have a positive environment. Be around energetic people who contagiously influence that way you feel and think. If you are positive, you’ll see every challenge you encounter has a silver lining.
Alongside with consistency is commitment. In tough times, commitment pushes you to show up, do the work, and finish it with excellence. It’s your tireless dedication to complete what you started.
Having an organisation, and in turn, team goal, helps everyone travel in the same direction. Do all know what that goal is and that it is a realistic but aspirational. Clarity, focus and effort in the same direction, will see all end up achieving organisational and personal goals.
A team player naturally cares for the outcome of their work and the welfare of their teammates. They are not selfish and sloppy about their performance. Rather, they have self-leadership to manage their own contribution. They are accountable and even willing to help their colleagues do better as well.
Contributing, with commitment, being consistent, bringing positivity, adapting one’s own communication style and understanding the goal… that’s a tall order for a team. Perhaps the complexity of these first 6 C’s is what prevents “the powers that be” from fully equipping teams. After all, it’s much easier to simply assign the project and leave the team to its own devices. Easier, yes. Fair, no. The first 6 C’s can all be acquired and practiced with team training. The seventh C is where these skills are mastered. When team members hold each other accountable for using these skills as they work together, coaching one another for continued development, that’s where the magic happens. Think back to any successful team you worked with and this C — Coaching among peers — will be apparent. But it, too, is a skill and with a little training, team members can become much more effective.
The 7 C’s for team effectiveness skills are simultaneously essential for team success and attractive for team recruiting and retention. Who wouldn’t want to work on a team like this?
Clare Brown, Aspire2 Business | Workplace Communication