Team Communication: Three top tips for effective feedback
If people are the lifeblood of any organisation, team communication is the heart that pumps the blood around the body. Without effective tools for facilitating quality communication, everything grinds to a halt and, ultimately, no organisation can exist for long after team communication has stopped working. It’s easy to think that the human race is born to communicate, with great techniques built-in to every single person. However, certain situations make our ability to convey messages particularly weak. One of these situations is giving feedback on ideas, productivity, or how somebody carries out their work. Here are my top three tips for feedback that leaves everybody feeling motivated.
Team communication in three simple steps
1. Choose your battles Sometime, the best form of team communication is saying nothing at all – and that doesn’t mean ignoring your team until they figure out for themselves what they have done wrong! Before embarking on feedback, think carefully about your desired results, and the impact of these results on your organisation. If the results are negligible, say nothing – this means that when you do choose to communicate some feedback, it will be taken seriously.
2. Don’t judge ‘You are terrible at your job’! That’s a judgement that I’ve made. Thankfully, I don’t know you personally, so it’s unlikely you’ve taken my judgement seriously. But you almost certainly had an emotional response to my judgement, even for a split second. When you are giving feedback to a team member, this emotional response has a tendency to steal attention away from the constructive, useful points that you are making.
3. Be Clear and Consistent It’s no good expecting one thing today and another thing tomorrow. Great leadership and quality team communication is built around clarity that lasts – whatever feedback you give to your team now, you should expect them to remember long into the future. Don’t confuse the situation by adding caveats and exceptions to your feedback. Tell your team what you would like them to do not only today, but also moving forward.
Team communication training and advice
These are just a few guidelines to follow when delivering feedback, designed to foster a working relationship where criticism is accepted and acted upon with haste. Use these tips as the foundation of your feedback, accompany them with more training, and watch as your team communication is transformed before your eyes. You can hear me talking more about my views on Team Communication on our Youtube channel