Team Communication: Importance, Methods, Benefits, and Challenges

1338 words 6 pages
Team Communication: Importance, Methods, Benefits, and Challenges
In order for a team to communicate effectively, the members should understand why effective communication is important; decide which methods to use; know the benefits they will reap; and how to overcome the challenges that will arise, because when communications fail many problems can arise such as, failure to meet goals, and unnecessary conflict.
Parker (2003) says that, “open communication is an absolute requirement for successful…teamwork” (p. 117). A team is communicating successfully when all team members are expressing their thoughts, ideas, and opinions and each member is listening and being open to what others have to say, whether in agreement or disagreement of
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409). A team will reap many benefits from choosing appropriate methods that lead to communicating effectively.
Benefits
Benefits to effective communication are endless. The team can set goals and productively progress towards the goals quickly and efficiently which leads to increased productivity. By putting all team members’ thoughts together, a team will be more creative and come to conclusions that are more detailed.
Another factor to consider is trust. “If a team is to grow and prosper, its members must trust each other, and trust must be earned” (Temme & Katzel, 1995, ¶ 13). According to Parker (2003), “Trust creates the pathway to open communication” (P. 174).
Members will also be able to work together to resolve issues (Chaudrie, 2005, p. 67) instead of avoiding it or otherwise. When a conflict arises, it can quickly be resolved by communicating both sides of the conflict then following the ground rules set forth by the team and coming to a compromise. To reap these benefits the team must overcome the challenges that arise.
Challenges
Teams will face challenges regarding communication however; the team must overcome these challenges for the team to continue to function. Several authors, (Higgs, Pewnia, & Ploch, 2005 & Parker, 2003) list some common challenges to communication as follows: difficulty in agreeing on goals, allowing prejudices and opinions to affect decision, “plain old-fashioned turf battles” (Parker, 2003, p

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