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Team Communication - Team Dynamics

Essay by   •  August 21, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,351 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,334 Views

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Team Communication

The effect of team communication holds a close connection between individuals in making valuable decisions. Communication is the foundation of trust based on the cooperation of team members. I believe that everyone can be a team player which, he or she lives by daily. "A team is a group of people who works together for a common goal (Anonymous, nd)". The purpose of this document is to provide an overview on team dynamics, barriers, and tools to effectively manage a team environment.

Team Dynamics

In order to have an effective project and meet deadlines all team members are required to participate, communicate, and provide valuable input. No one within the team should feel uncomfortable when expressing their opinions based on knowledge. Learning to speak up and encouraging others to open up are important to a team's communication. Giving and receiving feedback gracefully is another critical part of good communication on a project team. Without effective feedback, little will be accomplished. It is vitally important in the modern workplace in order to support the efficient flow of communication. There can be unseen forces that may operate within teams between different people or groups. These dynamics can influence how a team acts, behaves or performs, and often are very complex. The style of communication can vary greatly based on gender, culture, ethnicity, etc. Good communication on the other hand doesn't just happen overnight. Teams must work through these challenges to ensure that communication is a source of resolution to conflict. As stated by Dwyer (2005), our communication skills must be a strength, not a weakness. It takes time, energy and effort, but it pays big returns by producing better results and deeply enriched relationships. It's a double win.

Barriers

As stated by Ken Blanchard (n.d.), organizations employ teams to tap into their collective wisdom in order to boost effectiveness and productivity. But simply putting a team in place does not ensure great results. There can be barriers that make it hard to understand the meanings, intentions, and reactions of other team members. Effective communication relies on listening, explaining perceptions, acknowledging, and discussing the differences and similarities in views, and negotiating an agreement. Launching a team without proper training, chartering, visioning, and goal setting can spell disaster down the road.

In our increasingly diverse workplaces, language and cultural barriers can exist among members of a team. Our cultural heritage, our sex, our class, and our stage of life - all of these influence our use of language and our perception of others. Some degree of cultural competency must be in place for team members to effectively communicate with each other. There should be some leverage in the inherent differences of personal and cultural values in order to prevent a loss of productivity.

As stated by Worman (Business Case, 2005), conflicts arise between people when working together, especially when they are not like-minded, with different ideas, views, experiences, and perspectives. Decision-making and conflict resolution are also components of the communication process that must be acknowledged by teams. Establishing a planned process for decision-making is essential, and the process must also take resolution of conflicts into account, because conflict is inevitable. The group process must integrate openness and confrontation, support and trust, cooperation and conflict, sound procedures for solving problems and getting things done, and good communication.

As stated by Clark (1995), values are a major source of conflicting and competing communication patterns among health professionals, who are educated and trained in very different modes and methods of practice, in regard to their relationships to each other and to the patient and family. Conflict is natural, and sometimes unavoidable in such groups that seek to grow and develop. Some common sources of conflict are misinterpretation of responsibilities, limited resources, and conflict of interests. According to Rau and Foster (2000), the roots of discord begin with lack of common goals and organizational disconnect between individual and team objectives. A lack of communication plays a significant role in increased issues and conflicts within the workplace. The need for managing conflicts becomes serious as conflict diverts the focus of the employees and management from the goals of the company. Rau and Foster further found "unresolved or unmanaged conflict can quickly escalate and halt an organization's progress as people spend time worrying more about conflict

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