Team Communications: Workplace Meetings

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Team Communication: Workplace Meetings and Interactions
Workplace meetings have become as common an occurrence in daily business activity as punching in on a time clock. "Done right, meetings are one of the most powerful communication tools." (Thibodeau, 2005, para. 1). As beneficial as productive meetings can be to business organizations, ineffective meetings can have an equally detrimental effect. Regardless of how boring or pointless they may seem, not even modern technology is a substitute for personal interfacing. Maxwell (2004) states the importance of in-person communication: Meetings can be the best way to communicate information when what you say depends on what another person says. It's almost always harder and more time-consuming to convince someone of something by e-mail than face to face, when you can react immediately to objections and omit unnecessary arguments. (3) Managers often see meetings as an integral part of the work process. "They can be management's most efficient and effective communication and planning vehicle…" (Professional Practice Curriculum, 2006). In this paper, many of the impediments to good communication are discussed. If recognized, it is possible to avoid them. In the end, productive business communication has to motivate the team to a common goal. This paper discusses various components for consideration when motivating the team. Meetings can be powerful tools for success when facilitators and participants are able to communicate efficiently and effectively. Communication Impediments

The ability to talk or write does not mean that communication is taking place. Although these basic principles are taught to school-aged children, the principles are often stunted at this elementary level, and not developed as life-long skills. Adult communication skills are shaped by experiences, perceptions, and emotions, just as many other adult habits are shaped. These irrational standards can be the foundation for miscommunication when used in the workplace. Just as they have negative effects in families and other interpersonal relationships, they also have a negative effect on team building and cohesiveness within the workplace. Taking it to Heart

In business meetings, especially those with impending deadlines, tempers can get out of control. Outbursts are not uncommon; however, the one receiving the brunt of anger is rarely the most deserving source. Hunter (2003) makes the following example: For example, an employee has had a fight with a spouse, associate or customer, and because the issue that precipitated the argument remained unresolved, the anger and upset has been suppressed. Once in the office, the tension mounts. Later in the day the employee notices an insignificant error in a report you prepared, and all Hell breaks loose. Under such circumstances does it make sense to take this outburst personally? Logically, the answer is no. Taking someone else's anger personally is insane because it simply never is a personal phenomenon. This is not to say, however, that it is easy to remain calm in the face of another persons' anger, recognizing that it is not personal. It is never easy, but armed with this insight you can begin to develop an ability to stand firmly in the face of another's upset without taking it as a personal attack. (16) Stand Your Ground

A certain amount of agitation is expected in a team environment. Agitation is an uncomfortable part of the process, but just like sandpaper rubbing against unfinished wood, it is the part of the process that refines and eventually brings to surface the best work. Teams do not profit when all of the members succumb to one point of view without challenging that view and refining it. According to the University of Phoenix text (2004), in bringing together a diverse group of experts, we expect and want these differences to surface because, in the end, we expect a better outcome to result. Praise and Forgiveness

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