How we help teams Communicate more effectively

Welcome to the Leadership Vision Podcast, where we share our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a Strengths-Based approach to people, teams, and culture.

Today on the podcast, we’re talking about how we help teams Communicate more effectively. From defining Communication to understanding personal and team norms around Communication, we hope to help any team better understand how to get their message across and be understood.

This episode is the second episode in a four-part series where Brian and Linda Schubring are discussing our approach and philosophy for helping teams thrive through our Team Engagement Series. During this Team Engagement Podcast Series, we talk about the topics of Collaboration, Communication, Conflict, and Change. These four episodes can stand on their own but it will be helpful for you to listen to all of them to get a more complete understanding to help your team thrive.

Before we dive into the topic of Collaboration, it will be helpful to explain the Team Engagement Series process.

What Is A Team Engagement Series?

At Leadership Vision, a team engagement series consists of four, 90-minute sessions on a given topic. In addition to the Four C’s (which you’ll be learning about here over the next few weeks), we also have sessions on Knowledge, Purpose, and Trust, Emotional Health and Well-being, Courageous Leadership and Strengths-Based Team Development.

The Four C’s series was created when we found that teams who could Collaborate, Communicate, handle Conflict, and work through Change well together, seemed to be the most successful.

When we work with teams around these topics, sometimes they can be in a crisis situation, but most often we work on these competencies to better prepare a team to handle them when they inevitably do come up.

We also approach these sessions first from the perspective of the individual, then the team, and finally the overall culture. They weave together to create a cohesive approach to helping teams thrive in ever-changing environments.

Understanding Communication

Everyone has established preferences and patterns when it comes to communication. When working with teams around this topic, one of the first things we do is help people understand how far back those preferences and patterns have been formed.

We believe there are four primary influences that have shaped an individual’s communication patterns and preferences: Family, Culture, Geography, and Generation. Brian explains them this way:

Your family of origin is pretty straight forward. The second one is, culture. We think culture is, of course, ethnicity. We also think that culture is class as in privilege vs poverty. Also, your environment. Where did you grow up? Did you grow up in a small town? Did you grow up in a suburb? Did you grow up in an urban center? And… we ask [about] history. When did you grow up? [what generation, 60’s, 90’s, etc]. I think that it’s important to understand that time and technology also influences a person’s communication pattern and preferences.

Brian Schubring

Once participants understand their own preferences around communication, we can move into the realm of team communication. To make this turn, we begin with norms. Starting with norms is helpful because often there’s immediate buy-in. You’re not trying to radically change organizational culture, but rather leveraging something that already exists to make that team’s communication more effective. Norms often reveal what the communication expectations or preferences are of the team.

Healthy communication can create a sense of personal safety. A place where people feel like they belong because their voice is heard. And when you have clear communication, performance and engagement increases, too.

Brian Schubring

How to Communicate More Effectively

We all know communication is important, but HOW do we help teams get to a place of effectively communicating with one another so that they can get out of their own way and further the mission of the organization?

Once we have established personal preferences and patterns and discussed team norms, we lead them through a simple activity. We ask teams to list out all forms of communication they use: email, slack, texting, in-person meetings, carrier pigeons, ALL of it! From there, we help them look for opportunities to improve.

Where is the opportunity to communicate better? We could improve all of those and then it kind of feels like you can’t improve any of those. So we just say, let’s pick one or two. Pick one, pick two and start there. Whereas the opportunity to communicate better on slack. Whereas the the opportunity to communicate better in meetings or in person.

Lnda Schubring

We highly encourage you to do this on your own team. Just open your favorite note taking app, list out all the various forms of communication, and then have a dialogue with your colleg

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 PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherSpotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.

If you’d like to be featured on the Leadership Vision Podcast, let us know how you are using Strengths and what impact it has made. Contact us here!