Open communication plays a crucial role in binding a team and achieving business goals. Rica Bhattacharyya finds out how a manager can foster
and strengthen communication among team members.
1 Listen to All Team Members “Ensuring each team member listens to what others say encourages the team to ask questions and stay up-to-date,” says Shalini Sarin, country partner — VP HR & CSR, Schneider Electric India. As a leader one should not allow opinions to be dismissed, as this can dent younger team members’ self-confidence. “One leadership style I like to use is to encourage the team to challenge me,” she says. “It is important for leader to recognise those who are making first attempts,” adds Kamlesh Dangi, group chief people officer, Religare Enterprises.
2 Loosen up the Hierarchy “While hierarchies are needed for smooth functioning, they often lead to vertical communication. For communication to be multidirectional, the leader must loosen up hierarchies without creating insecurities,” says Dangi. For this to happen, the leader must also be a contributing team member. “Creating new communication platforms will give team members more opportunities to communicate with each other,” he says.
3 Cross-Train Employees Inculcating a sense of empathy always makes room for better communication. “Allowing team members to develop an educated perspective by making them understand the critical elements of other members’ jobs and responsibilities helps foster a sense of appreciation,” says Sarin. This inspires team members to communicate with one another without prejudice, she adds.
4 Air Issues Frequently Bringing all team members under one common roof and discussing each other’s grievances, as well as any changes planned in the organisation, strengthenscommunication within the team. “Most importantly, it encourages them to relay details directly so that openness can be achieved during communication,” says Sarin. Also, one way to break the ice is to create regular opportunities to socialise outside the office.
5 Build Transparency Transparency helps a team communicate effectively. “Team members need to trust each other and relate to one another positively,” says Dangi. When a leader ensures that every team member understands the ‘why’ behind every decision and encourages others to do the same, then team members will not be wary of hidden agendas and may even communicate freely with each other, he adds.
News – Economic Times
Date – 31-1-2014