“These people are just making it so difficult” said my friend. We met for coffee last week just to catch up and as she was telling me about some challenges she was facing at work. “Everyone wants a voice, everyone wants to be involved, everyone wants to be “in the know” so we have meeting after meeting and nothing seems to get done”.
The truth of the matter is that effective teams don’t happen overnight. In the beginning they are collections of individuals, each with their own expertise and opinions and aspirations. With focused attention on communication, that collection of individuals can become a high functioning team.
What type of communication? Interestingly the real key in building effective teams is having conversations. And there’s scientific proof!
Alex “Sandy” Pentland, the director of MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory wrote a great article in April, 2012, featured in the Harvard Business Review, about the new science of building great teams. The data his team has collected shows that great teams:
- Communicate frequently.
- Talk and listen in equal measure, equally among members.
- Engage in frequent informal communication.
- Explore for ideas and information outside the group.
(check out his article here http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/03/the_new_science_of_building_gr.html)
So what does this mean for my friend? Frequent meetings at the beginning of a project help get the conversations going. The W.O.R.K. in team work for her organization is to guide the content and purpose of meetings in order to establish a rhythm of conversation.
How can you improve conversation in your work routine?
To find out more about the services we have available to help you find the success you want and deserve go to www.YourTalentAdvantage.com.