The Role of Communication in Team Dynamics

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One of the most critical, if not the most critical aspect of team dynamics is communication. Effective or ineffective communication can lead to a team being extremely efficient and successful, or inefficient and a terrible failure. “Ineffective communication can be a source of discontent in a team” (Newson, 2006). The purpose of team communication is to enhance team performance; therefore, it is each team member’s responsibility to ensure effective communication. “Communication is an observable aspect of coordination, and insights into observable behaviors which predict high or low performances can be gained by team communication analysis” (Hutchins et al. 1999). Four crucial elements teams must possess to communicate effectively are a willingness to have open authentic discussions, active listening, willingness to confront conflicts, and understanding. There are several factors a team has to consider when creating the environment for open authentic discussions. One of the key factors is determining how each individual on the team communicates, and to access each individual team member’s strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to clearly expressing their views and opinions. Once this information is captured, then members will have a better understanding as to how to get all team members to participate in discussing key topics related to team goals. It is important that team members who are more expressive do not use this as an opportunity to dominate a more introverted team member. Clear objective conversations should be encouraged. Team members should present information in a very black and white manner (factual). Open discussions are a great way to get to know your team members. These discussions will reveal thing about your teammates that will help in your team’s communication process. So, encourage open discussions, this will lead to team trust.

When team members are having discussions it is necessary that everyone is being an active listener. Team members...
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