By Michael Gunther and Erin Hoffman
Anyone who has worked in any industry knows that conflicting personalities take a toll on teamwork, morale, and the successful completion of a project. But what many people might not know is that they don’t have to just learn to deal with a co-worker. Instead, teams can seek to understand and invest in programs and trainings to educate employees on how to best communicate with each other.
We’re big fans of assessments as they provide hard data to help teams learn about each other’s personalities. Then, the team is taught how to effectively communicate with each other, ultimately breaking down barriers and working better together.
Understanding how your coworkers think, process, and act on information is integral to effective communication. Proper communication techniques are the foundation of teamwork. In turn, teamwork leads to achieving goals, completing projects (on time!), and a general camaraderie that positively contributes to the company’s culture.
Learning how to effectively communicate helps leaders engage their employees. In our decades of experience, we strongly believe that increasing employee engagement means treating others the way you want to be treated. For some reason, however, this is easier said than done.
If your employees were asked about your leadership skills, their answers may surprise you. Many times, I have seen situations where the leader believes they are operating at a much higher level of effectiveness than their employees think they are. All leaders have room for improvement.
Management is hard. People are dynamic individuals with ever-shifting needs and requirements. Even managers who were once strong but never evolved may find themselves on the ‘not so good’ manager list. If you find yourself complaining about your team and their lack of commitment and poor achievement, I recommend taking a hard look into the mirror. These issues start at the top so the buck accurately does stop with you.
Keep the lines of communication wide open and educate your staff on different communication styles for effective teamwork. Also, own the concept that the issues and challenges with your team are your responsibility and begin treating your team as you want to be treated.