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:
- Active Listening
- Continuous Feedback
- Shared Meaning; and
- (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.
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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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