Effective Communication in Team Dynamics

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Throughout personal and business lives everyone will eventually work in a team setting. A team usually consists of three or more people who have a common goal or purpose. When working in a team, members have to decide what roles they will fill, plan their schedules for projects, and deal with upcoming team conflicts. Stewart, Sims & Manz (1999) stated, “For a team to succeed, team members need to effectively communicate with one another” (p. 79). While each element of teamwork is important, effective communication is the cornerstone to team dynamics. One of the main elements of effective communication is open discussions. Everyone on the team needs to be willing to share his or her point of view. De Janasz, Dowd & Schneider (2002) stated that “in order to have full team participation, and for the team to learn and develop, it is essential that team members do not embarrass, reject, mock, or punish someone for speaking up and sharing ideas and perceptions” (p.318). Trusting that participation will be respected helps everyone feel good and motivates the team to add to the discussions and keep the lines of communication open. The team must also communicate and plan for the deadlines of the project. When team members turn their work in on time it helps to build the bond of trust. Effective communication and planning are essential in teamwork. Listening and responding to each idea without judgment, asking open ended questions and focusing on the positives are also important to effective communication. Active listening helps the reader to formulate an opinion on the topic and respond to a post in a non-judgmental way. Understanding the post is very important (Parker 2003). If a team member does not understand a post they can restate what they think the post says. If the post is still not clear they can ask the writer to clarify the issue further. Responding to a post in a positive or neutral way keeps all lines of communication open in the team. The...
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