Team Communication: Importance, Methods, Benefits, and Challenges

Topics: Communication, Team, Asynchronous communication Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: June 26, 2008
Team Communication: Importance, Methods, Benefits, and Challenges In order for a team to communicate effectively, the members should understand why effective communication is important; decide which methods to use; know the benefits they will reap; and how to overcome the challenges that will arise, because when communications fail many problems can arise such as, failure to meet goals, and unnecessary conflict. Parker (2003) says that, “open communication is an absolute requirement for successful…teamwork” (p. 117). A team is communicating successfully when all team members are expressing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions and each member is listening and being open to what others have to say, whether in agreement or disagreement of what was said (Parker, 2003, p. 181). Importance

Wideman (2000) presents an analogy that seems the perfect way to explain the importance of communication as well as the quality necessary to be effective. Communication is like engine oil: it needs to be applied to the machinery or the machinery will not start or, if it does, it will quickly falter and grind to a halt. And the oil, like communication, needs to be continuously recycled and regularly replaced with new oil as the old becomes no longer usable. But what of the quality of the oil? Too little or too thin and it is not effective; too thick or too much and everything just gets gummed up (Wideman, 2000). Oil is communication and the machinery is the team.

The first step is to understand what effective communication is. Bethel (2000) explains that effective communication simplifies instead of complicating the message. Therefore, not only is it important to express thoughts through communication, but also to express them in a manner that is easily understood. Effective communication within a team is a crucial element of being successful. A team shares common goals and everyone has to be on the same page to accomplish these goals. “Goals are the glue that hold a team...

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Parker, G. (2003). Cross-Functional Teams: Working with Allies, Enemies, and Other Strangers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Pp. 170-194. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from University of Phoenix learning team toolkit.
Temme, J. & Katzel, J. (1995). Calling a team a team doesn’t mean that it is: successful teamwork must be a way of life. Plant Engineering. 112. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from Gale database.
Thompson, L. F. & Coovert, M. D. (2002, March). Stepping up to the challenge: A critical examination of face-to-face and computer-mediated team decision making. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 6, 52-64. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from EBSCOhost database.
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