How do you ensure effective communication

How can I communicate properly in a team?

Communication is an art that needs to be cultivated. Nowhere do we fail as consistently as the words that tumble out of our mouths or seem to get tangled in our vocal cords before they ever see the light of day. It is more than time to learn the craft of communication.

An overview:

  • Respect hierarchies and your role
  • don't talk about people, talk to them
  • Stay out of the rumors
  • Pay attention to self-esteem
  • Give correct feedback
  • Differentiate between events and judgments
  • Be solution-oriented

Here are the basics: The basic requirement for good communication in a team is a common goal, a clear distribution of tasks and structured communication (via meetings, conversations, summits, conferences, workshops, etc.) about what is happening. As soon as there is no communication in the team, check whether a) responsibilities and tasks have been clarified and b) there are ritualized opportunities to exchange ideas about what is happening at the moment.

Tip 1: Respect hierarchies and your role in the team

"Hi! I'll send you the term paper until later! I'm still doing an internship. Ciao, Luisa "
Such and similar emails land on my husband's desk, who is a professor of media culture and communication. Communication in professional contexts is losing its formality, but that is why we should still relate to one another in a respectful manner. Even if you work in a team with flat hierarchies, it is important to adapt your communication when you talk to your boss or an expert. Be a bit old-fashioned again: knock on the door and ask if your team leader has time for you. Start your emails with a friendly salutation and end them with a greeting. Prepare your contributions in team meetings and make them content-rich and entertaining.

Tip 2: Don't talk about someone, talk to them!

Oh, I think this rule is the most important. As soon as communication with one another becomes difficult, we tend to no longer discuss our concerns with them authentically. Instead, we withdraw and talk to a third party about that person's unspeakable behavior. Not good. It is really very simple. If you are angry at someone on the team, or you can't get along with them, then you take your time and take heart to speak to that person. Check out how often you would rather talk about someone than with them. Change that. It's wonderful how relationships relax then.

Tip 3: Get out of the rumor mill!

“Have you heard that Paul told Laura that he saw Marie with Max in front of the cinema the day before yesterday? And then Laura said that she had been thinking about Marie and Max for a long time, because did you see the two of them staring at each other? But what Lena will say is another matter. In any case, Leon said that Lena had clearly distanced herself from Max lately. “Either you withdraw from these conversations immediately, or you reveal that it is a harmless form of gossiping and everyone knows that here neither reality nor relevance is negotiated!

Tip 4: Pay attention to self-esteem

In communication, we also always negotiate our self-esteem, because through it we shape our relationships with one another. Somebody writes to me: “You haven't even brought the documents to the post office yet!” - and I think: “Ouch, caught! I am so unreliable and the other person is sure to find me unprofessional now! ”Make sure that you take the relationship level into account when you communicate. What do you want to say and how could it be received by the other? Make sure that the way you formulate something strengthens the self-esteem of the person you are talking to instead of weakening it.

Tip 5: give correct feedback

Feedback means feedback. In the feedback, you describe how you perceived someone's behavior and what it triggered in you at that moment. If a colleague is often late and that annoys you, you could say the following:

Instead of: “Leonie, you are coming always too late!!! That annoys me !! ", you say:" Hey Leonie, I noticed that in the last 4 days you came to the office 15-20 minutes late. I'm under a lot of pressure right now because of this deadline and I need your support. If you are late, I feel left alone with the project. Please come ‘on time, so that we can start work straight away and achieve our goal."

Feedback always relates to how you perceive something and what follows from it for you in the here and now! The following rule applies: No old camels (“It was the same last month!”) And no interpretations (“You are unreliable!”). Then it works.

Tip 6: Learn to differentiate between events and assessments

Your boss calls you into her office and asks you to take on another task. It is an event. You now have the free choice to interpret this event in a variety of ways: “Wow, she really trusts me!”, “Why always me? I'm not the idiot on duty! ”,“ She can't do anything on her own! ”Or“ I'm just so well organized, I'll definitely be promoted soon. ”Well, the free choice is only partly true, because we react to communication situations with our own frame of reference and it engages faster than we can think. If you have the inner conviction that you always have to help everyone, then you are more inclined not to set any limits and say “yes”, even if you mean “no”. You find yourself in a situation in which you don't want to be and you interpret: “Always me. I always have to help everyone! ”No, you don't have to, you just think. Your boss calls you into her office and asks you to take on another task. You can decline, accept or only agree under certain conditions. It is very important that we learn to recognize our interpretations and distinguish them from the events. The facts are rarely bad. What worries us is the way we evaluate the situation and ourselves. Reflect on yourself in difficult communication situations: What is my part? What really happened and what do I think it happened?

Tip 7: Do you want a solution or you are right?

In difficult communication situations you can ask yourself: Am I oriented towards a solution or do I want to be right? If you want to be right, be prepared that your counterpart will not give up his position without a fight. If you are really oriented towards a solution and are willing to change your point of view, then you may win a cooperation partner in the other. The thing is: both are not possible. You cannot want to be right and expect a rosy communication situation. If you insist on your point of view, one of them will lose in any case - maybe even both, because you missed the opportunity to combine the best of two points of view and to compensate for the weaknesses of each perspective. Sometimes it is strategically good to insist on your perspective; it is often better to cooperate with one another. It is important that you learn by analyzing the events and self-reflection to distinguish when one or the other strategy is meaningful and effective.

So, now we start training. Which of the 7 points spoke to you the most? Where is your development potential greatest? And what would be a concrete growth step in terms of communication for the coming days?

Good communication pays off. Because look ‘in your life! What makes you really happy? When is your work fun? And on which evenings are you “well tired” instead of exhausted and lacking in energy? Doesn't that always have to do with the quality of your relationships? Let us be well related through good communication.

about the author

Elisabeth Hahnke studied Communication and Cultural Management at Zeppelin University (Master of Arts) and founded the renowned social franchise ROCK YOUR LIFE! with two friends. She and her team have received several awards for their work, e.g. the MTV Voices Award. Elisabeth is the Responsible Leader of the BMW Foundation and is committed to personal and social change with her work. At the moment she heads the potential development program BILDUNGSROCKER and also works as a trainer and coach. She is an expert in the areas of coaching, MBSR / introvision and potential development.

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