The Importance of Conversation in Teams
We’ve all been members of teams in our lives. Our initial team is our family. We work up to sports, academics, play and finally work. Some teams gel and move forward as one in everything they do. Somehow, they naturally work together, discussing and deciding on issues that are important to them. Others, not so much. Many teams get lost in the quagmire of distrust, and an inability to communicate with each other well.
Trust is the cornerstone in building teams of integrity. Communication, particularly those that are difficult, is the next step in creating a powerful team that can get results. I’m not talking about the executive committee, or heads of state, although those might be interesting to talk about. Nor am I talking about the weather, what you did over the weekend for fun, or what you should make for dinner. I’m talking about those conversations that take place on a daily basis that could have a powerful impact on your life. The conversations you have with people who have a different opinion than you do, where stakes are high, and emotions can take over. These are the communications we often avoid, with e-mail, voice mail, or just plain walking away.
Teams of Integrity make a conscious choice to have the conversations, and to handle them well, knowing that upon occasion they will have some repair work to do when things are handled poorly.
What are some of the conversations you could have?
- Talking to your boss about her behavior
- Giving critical feedback to a colleague on their work
- Negotiating with an insubordinate teenager
- Asking your mother-in-law to quit telling you what to do – and how to do it
- Sharing with a co-worker that they have a personal hygiene problem
Having had all of these conversations at some point, I can tell you that emotions do get in the way, and most of us haven’t had many demonstrations of effective communication skills throughout our lives. Consequently, these types of conversations can be difficult.
In the book, Crucial Conversations, the authors identify the one thing you need to do to succeed in having risky, controversial and emotional conversations. That one thing is getting all the relevant information out into the open. Team members must openly and honestly express their opinions, share their feelings and articulate their theories. They must willingly share their viewpoints, even when they are risky or controversial. They must be sincere in their readiness to have a dialogue.
So, there you have it. We first build the foundation of our team on trust. The next layer is communication and the willingness to live in constructive conflict.
Georgia Feiste, owner of Collaborative Transitions Coaching, Inc., located in Lincoln, NE, is a personal growth coach, writer, and workshop facilitator. She is also a Usui Reiki Master. Georgia specializes in career, business and personal life transitions for people seeking change in their life. She is uniquely skilled in providing support and encouragement as her clients set intentional goals to attain their desires, holding open the space they need to stretch and grow. Her passion is success grounded in purpose and passion, standards of integrity and priorities in life. Her websites are http://www.collaborativetransitions.com, where you can find her blogs about business and career, http://www.rainbowbridgecoach.com , where she and many other coaches blog about mind, body, spirit and emotion, and http://www.georgiafeiste.com where you can catch her thoughts on a wide variety of topics. Georgia can be reached at (402) 304-1902 or you can schedule a 30 minute consultation via Automated Appointment.
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