Vicki James, PMP, CBAP, PMI-PBA, CSM

formerly of Professional Project Services, LCC

It Starts With You! Exploring Team Communication Breakdown

There is a phenomenon at the poker table that helps to understand one aspect of breakdown in team communications. Often the action (or play) will get held up because someone does not check, bet, or raise. They simply sit there. Everyone at the table assumes this person is thinking about their options. Only this person is wondering who is holding up the action. The general rule is, if you don’t know who is holding up the action – it is you.

Here are some thoughts to consider next time your team is experiences problems due to poor communication.

Great team communication starts with you!

Sender – Focus first on what you know or are doing that might impact anybody else

  • Have you communicated this?
  • Have you communicated the potential impact on other because of the action or change?
  • Have you communicated in a way that will be received?
  • Have you confirmed that everyone received and understood the information?

Receiver – In getting information from others

  • Do you pay careful attention in meetings?
  • Do you refer to meeting notes?
  • Do you ask for clarification?
  • Are you up to date with your email?
  • Are your emails organized so that you can get back to past information?
  • Have you done a search on your email to get earlier information sent?
  • Are you paying attention to what is available on the team collaboration site?
  • Have you stated a preference to the team or team members on how to alert you of new information?

Team member – Working toward a team goal

  • Are your actions in line with the stated current team goals?
    • If not, have you validated that your activity is a valid priority and adjusted the overall work plan with the team?
  • Is anybody waiting on something from you?
  • Is there something you are doing that will help or impact another team member?
  • Have you stated your concerns or thoughts of the current activities towards to team goals to with the team and/or team leader?
  • Have you asked others to give information they have that might have to help you better understand the difference in opinion?
  • Do you given respect to team or team leaders decisions and priorities

Share this post with your team members to encourage introspection for better team communications.

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5 responses to “It Starts With You! Exploring Team Communication Breakdown

  1. Pingback: It Starts With You! Exploring Team Communication Breakdown « PMChat

  2. Pingback: Who’s Leading this Team? « Business about Business

  3. Pingback: Communication Breakdown « My Magnificent Mess

  4. Pingback: Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid? « The Lead Pack

  5. Pingback: Project Management Communication Posts: Best of the Best « Professional Project Services

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