When you work together in a team, one thing is most important, namely communication with one another. Missing or incorrect communication can bring everything to a standstill. Misunderstandings, disappointments or false expectations arise. In short, I would describe good communication based on respect for the other as the most important thing in teamwork.
Nowadays we have endless possibilities to communicate with each other. The digital world puts everything at our feet, from a simple phone call to the currently much-used video call to face-to-face meetings in reality!
But I often observe in my environment that we only use what, in my opinion, is a very limited type of “text message” in the form of instant messengers. I see this as a kind of “step backwards” in communication.
Before I want to talk about my prioritized type of communication so that I can then classify it, I would first like to define what constitutes a team communication:
It is important to define a common goal. Sounds logical, but very few teams take the time to work this out and, above all, to put it in writing. But that helps immensely to “run” in a common direction and not to lose sight of the goal.
Once the goal has been defined, the resulting tasks should be clearly distributed within the team for each member. Because only those who know their job exactly can also work productively for a team and communicate properly both internally and externally.
It feels like recurring appointments at which you meet and exchange ideas are very important! This leads to structured communication and a constant comparison of the actual / target and what is happening within the team. In addition, it also strengthens the “we” feeling when you meet with the others regularly and see that everyone else in the team is “moving forward”!
If you as a leader or a simple member of a team observe the following rules, you will notice how everything becomes friendlier, more productive and optimized among each other:
You should not only have a positive mindset in your private life, it also helps you communicate within your team in everyday work. Forget the approach of always wanting to be right, but always orientate yourself towards a good result for the team! This is certainly not easy sometimes, but you should always subordinate personal ideas and goals to those of the team.
Gossiping about your colleagues is not ver cool! Just avoid that. If something about someone bothers you, speak up and try to get it out of the way with a direct conversation. This is the only way to create a good atmosphere among each other. Talking about someone only creates displeasure on all sides!
Always give feedback on everything your colleagues do. Positive and negative feedback simply motivates and does not leave your counterpart alone in the rain! It helps to understand how others see your work. A good tool to strengthen the "we" feeling.
Never spread or stir up falsehoods or rumors. It's poison for a team. Don't get involved and help get them out of the way. Rumors are mostly based on prejudices and can only be eliminated by getting to know the other person better!
Regardless of whether it is positive or negative criticism of a teammate. Just never do this in writing! Since you do not get any direct feedback on your statement and you cannot react directly to the other person, this approach always fails, believe me. It leads to misunderstandings and resentment and does not help either side to maintain a positive mindset.
If you and your team work for many customers and at the same time on a large number of orders and projects, then context-based communication is exactly the right method of choice, because it solves the known problems of conventional communication: If you set up your communication so broadly that you open up If you use many tools and apps, such as emails, instant messengers, social platforms, etc., you will inevitably run into the problem at some point that you can no longer find your information. That's the biggest problem! And here we haven't even addressed the aspect of archiving and filing your projects and orders ...
However, if you use a system in which, ideally, you can communicate directly with your entire team and perhaps also with selected customers on your topics, you can easily solve this problem. Because all documents (sounds, images, films) relating to the topic or project “xy” are then in one place. Ideally, you should even include your external emails on this topic here and everyone can understand decisions and steps directly and perfectly even after a long time! In the end, this leads to something fundamentally important within your team:
By introducing context-based communication, you will immediately stop the exchange of files and information via mail between your team members! The "no-mail policy" was born.
If you have agreed with your team to communicate in this way from now on, there is a very important rule that everyone must observe:
Do not under any circumstances open up a sideline next to your main tool of context-based communication!
What does that mean? You should refrain from "quick" clarification of matters relating to your projects in chat programs such as WhatsApp, Signal, Messages, fb Messenger, etc. to outsource.
This only leads to you watering down your communication rules and producing unnecessary stress.
Furthermore, you run into the problem of complete archiving, already mentioned above. Communication in a messenger does not find its way into the archive or backup and later no one can understand a decision or a step.
Large corporations have already recognized the problem and block or prohibit instant messenger tools such as Slack etc.
If you don't want to communicate in your main tool, but are looking for quick clarification, then make a phone call or softly choose an online call in Zoom / FaceTime!
So let's keep it in mind: For balanced, optimized and user-friendly communication within your team, context-based communication is my preferred choice!
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