Better Team Communications

This is one of my favourite models to use if your team isn’t communicating that well

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You’ll know when you have poor team communication, because there are:

  • Disagreements and conflicts all over the place
  • Misunderstandings repeating time and again
  • Rising stress levels
  • Missed deadlines
  • Lower quality than usual.

Barnlund’s model, which dates back to the ’70s, is a great way to break down a team communication problem and start practising some better ways of understanding each other.

As you can see from the diagram, there are four stages:

  1. Active Listening
  2. Continuous Feedback
  3. Shared Meaning; and
  4. (checking for) Noise and Context.

Research shows that the benefits are:

  • A more interactive understanding, rather then a passive reliance on the communicator
  • An intention to share the meaning rather than impose it.

As always, the meaning of your message is in what is understood by someone, rather than in what you actually meant to say!

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