How To Improve Communication

One of TeamBuilder’s key benefits is its ability to improve communication throughout your company, within teams and inter-team.

Improving Communication Across Your Company

The quickest way to start improving communication throughout your company is to have everyone in your company take the TeamBuilder test and read their own reports. This works from the ground up by building self-awareness in your employees.

Common communication problems from poor self-awareness include:

  • Employees who talk far more than they listen
  • Employees who are too quiet and don’t speak up when they have something to say
  • Employees who are overly blunt and don’t realise how it can affect (and mute) others
  • Employees reporting too much detail in reports with a large audience

Steps you can take:

  1. Email the test to your employees or just a single team and ask them to take it and read their reports (build self-awareness).
  2. (optionally) Ask people to reply to HR with points they strongly agree with and points they strongly disagree with.
  3. Ideally, you want people to read each other’s reports within their team (build other-awareness) after they’ve read their own. This is normally a voluntary activity and is likely to happen naturally with no intervention at all, but you can have a group meeting after people have taken the test and ask them to bring their reports with them.

By improving both self-awareness and other-awareness, TeamBuilder increases employee knowledge of how they are perceived at work. This includes detail about their particular communication strengths and weaknesses. People often have a different perspective of themselves than others do, so this in turn leads to an effort by the employee to improve their communication style and make their self-perception, reality and what other people think start to match.

Improving Communication Within Specific Teams

Ensure everyone in the team has taken the test and at least read their own detailed report. You should also know the profiles of everyone in the team.

There is mention below of ‘High I’s and ‘High D’s etc – this generally refers to the highest factor in someone’s profile from the 4 DISC factors, but for people who have multiple high factors it can also refer to the 2nd highest factor, providing it’s above the middle line on the graph.

Is the team not communicating enough with each other?

  • If there are no ‘High I’s in the team, consider adding one from another team

High I’s are excellent communicators and also add excitement and involvement to their teams. If you already have a High I in the team, they are perhaps of too low a level, or perhaps a High D is in charge of the team. Consider adding another High I who has the respect of the manager to the team.

Is the team not communicating well with other teams?

  • Put a ‘High I’ from the team in charge of inter-team communication

High I’s handle communication extremely well, although you should ensure you give them a timeline as they tend to work better to deadlines.

Is the team talking too much?

  • Move one or more ‘High I’s from the team to a different team

Normally, if a team is over-communicating it is because there are too many High I’s in the team. Other symptoms will be that the team does not appear to be producing an end product, and promises of delivery are often over-optimistic.

Is the team being too verbose in their communications?

  • Consider putting a ‘High D’ in charge of inter-team communication

High D’s can also be great communicators, although they prefer to be concise. They will not report on detail, rather preferring you to trust that the detail is taken care of. If you want reports which just give a summary of the key points then this is the move you should make.

Is the team not communicating enough detail to other teams?

  • Consider putting a ‘High C’ in charge of inter-team communication

High C’s are the personality type that epitomises attention to detail. They love rules and they love spelling out every detail to ensure no confusion can arise.

Is the team communication too irregular?

  • Consider putting a ‘High S’ in charge of inter-team communication

High S’s find it easy to follow a routine. If you want a report at the same time every day or week, putting a High S in charge of inter-team communication will give you this.

Important: Make sure that if you put someone in charge of inter-team communications that you spell out what is expected from them and why they have been chosen. This will prevent, for example, a High D becoming disgruntled because they think they are going to have to report every single detail which is something they might attempt, but certainly not something they would enjoy, or be good at without significant training.

Those who are interested in a deeper study of communication in the workplace might consider coursework from SJU online, which offers programs in business intelligence and organizational development.