How to Build Healthy Communication on Your Team
In this episode, we share what teams have taught us about how they are building cultures where healthy communication patterns and preferences can take hold. We share some of our best takeaways, as well as some examples and ideas for how you might implement some of these best practices in your business, your organization, or even your family. Enjoy!
Building Healthy Communication on Your Team
How can you build healthy communication patterns and preferences on your team? We’ve found that the best answers, the best solves, and the best conclusions on how to build healthy communication within teams are coming from the people that are actually on those teams. And one of the cool things that we have been listening for is how people prefer to communicate.
No matter what our ambition is on how we choose to create healthy team culture with communication, we have to also recognize that each one of us brings a unique and distinct communication pattern to the team. Communication patterns preexist being a member of the team and they prevail and persist no matter how the team looks. We have to recognize that everyone brings their own unique communication preferences to the team that may or may not change. How do you agree as a team on what healthy communication looks like going forward?
The Three P’s of Healthy Communication
We’ve learned that teams recognize that practice, participation, and perspective are necessary for healthy communication. Whenever you create a new, healthy norm, it takes practice, people need to be involved, and there needs to be a different type of participation with communication, as well as a unifying of different perspectives, different voices, and cultural perspectives.
Practice refers to the how, behaviors, and expectations of communication. Great changes in any area of our life don’t happen overnight. It takes repetitive practice to create those new patterns. One of the things that we have realized is that teams need to set aside time to practice healthy communication. However, many teams quickly realize they don’t have the time to actually practice what it means to have their own voice or to actually spend more time with active listening because they are caught up in the urgency of their work.
How do you set aside time to do some of the very fundamental things like asking if everyone on your team has had a chance to speak? Or calling on people that haven’t had a chance to talk yet? How do you wrestle with the different perspectives on your team that need to be considered? How are you practicing healthy communication with your team? And are you demonstrating healthy communication patterns yourself?
Participation is the who, personality, style, and voice of communication. Ultimately we want more people to participate in the practice of healthy team communication. Participation is to make sure that when you’re having a team meeting, each voice is being heard because everyone has a unique and distinct voice. Whether someone’s speaking up or not, people want and need to be heard. How is it that we can create a place where personal participation is happening? A place where everyone is involved in some way? Is everyone’s voice on your team being heard?
Perspective is about being prepared and being present. The conversation around perspective is becoming more and more diverse than we have ever experienced because people now have an expectation that we can listen differently. We have found that there are more opportunities than ever to bring up perspectives that are from different cultures or from a team member’s ethnicity or orientation. There is a general openness to different people’s perspectives now. The next challenge is, how do we integrate different perspectives, even if it’s just on style?
It only takes one person to makes sure that perspectives are heard. It just takes a certain kind of ear to know who needs to be heard and when the timing is right, but that takes practice. Who can do that on your team? Who knows the team well enough? When you have someone who’s in tune with the perspective of the team it can draw in people’s participation, it creates a deeper sense of knowing, and most importantly, it can contribute to healthy communication.
Improving Communication on Your Team
As you’re thinking about your team, what do you need to practice more? What agreements or behaviors need to exist more? As a team, how can you participate differently? How do you get more people involved in the communication and provide enough time for that to happen? And lastly, how is it that we can really look at the perspectives that are on our team and know when they need to be heard? We’d love to hear from you and learn more about the communication patterns on your team. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
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