ONE of the key benefits of a maturing and developing team is to be found in the enhancement of communication throughout the team process.
The results are improved information, knowledge and expertise flowing through the organisation with better overall decisions and outcomes.
As teams grow and become more effective, one of the key elements contributing to a foundation of open communication within the team environment is the development of strong personal relationships between members. As they learn to trust each other, members become more respectful and collaborative in their efforts, work, and communication of key information.
The previous competitive environment in which individuals were both suspicious and partisan in their viewpoints and personal agendas is ultimately removed, reducing the barriers to open team communication.
Leaders understand that once a respectful and trusting team environment is developed, communication and the work of the team are enhanced. This improvement allows teams to tackle more complex and controversial topics, issues and concerns.
Any conflict that results from these situations is viewed as natural and helpful in the resolution of issues and problems. An effective and mature team is able to focus on issues while ignoring the personalities and personal agendas of individual members. Once teams have achieved this status, their ability to work effectively is greatly enhanced, increasing their overall productivity and efficiency.
As individual team members learn to work together and cooperate in an open and non-threatening atmosphere, and as they establish personal levels of trust and respect among team members, the barriers to open communication are effectively removed. This results in measurable benefits for the organisation.
Free flow of information
One of the strongest benefits of open communication within a team environment, and within the organisation as a whole, is the increased and enhanced free flow of information. As teams mature, develop and learn to work effectively with one another, many barriers to open communication are eliminated.
The fewer the barriers, the more freely information flows throughout the organisation, which leads to a more open and honest sharing of information and an elimination of incomplete and mixed messages that were used by individual members to establish their power base.
Information flows freely up, down and throughout the organisation. Free flow of information enhances decision making because teams have better data and expertise to base their critical decisions upon. More effective decisions can then be made by consensus to efficiently use the resources available to the organisation and fully commit the team to implementation.
As teams mature and develop, a certain synergy is created within the organisation. As information flows freely throughout the organisation and relationships are more firmly established in an open and non-threatening atmosphere, individual teams become more creative in the development of alternative options and solutions to specific problems, issues and concerns.
As individual teams become more energised and motivated by an environment of open communication, they tend to become more solution-, action- and results-oriented. A previous emphasis on activity and input is unseated by a motivation to produce results.
An empowered team environment characterised by open communication creates a deep sense of motivation within the organisation: individuals and teams are more energised to produce results, develop solutions and move the organisation forward.
Within a fully empowered and open communication environment, teams and individuals see more of a chance for achievement through the efforts of the group and the progress of the organisation. Teams and individuals learn to share and celebrate the overall results.
The sense of achievement, motivation and celebration experienced by an empowered group has strong motivational effects and ramifications on the entire organisation. Open communication is enhanced, personal motivation increases and the desire of the entire organisation to produce results is immediately sensed and measurable.
Leaders must learn to foster this sense of celebration and accomplishment, primarily through sustaining open communication in the team environment. Leaders should understand that open and active communication requires ongoing attention; otherwise it is very easy to stumble into the common pitfalls associated with the team communication environment
Mandeya is an executive coach, trainer in human capital development and corporate education, a certified leadership and professional development practitioner and founder of the Leadership Institute for Research and Development (LiRD). — firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or +263 772 466 925.