Team communication is the lifeblood of any group, team or organization. Communication is what makes things happen; it creates team culture and provides direction and purpose. Team communication is a mix of verbal and nonverbal communication to a group of people larger than 3. While team communication is unavoidable and needed for an effective team, it does have pros and cons that present various challenges.
Provides Clear Direction
Team communication gives clear direction. Both verbal and nonverbal directives give the group a good handle on vision and purpose, creating a sense of identity and motivation to achieve a common goal. This can be seen in nature with flying geese. You watch the leader make a slight turn (nonverbal cue) and the other geese seemingly follow without missing a beat.
Empowers the Team
Communication empowers the team with the mental will and energy to work together. Words have the power to build up or tear down and when used for positive messages, a team will find themselves motivated and willing to go the extra mile and work through difficulties. When a group of people feel taken care of and know they have a voice, the positive energy is infectious.
Creates a Culture
Everyone is looking for identity in every aspect of life. This identity in a team is referred to as a culture. The culture of a team is developed by verbal and nonverbal communication. The things said verbally as well as the dress-code requirements, the standards and expectations all create a culture. The culture can be good or bad.
Team communication can be confusing because of the various perceptions and understanding of each individual. Every person in the team will hear something different then the next. Communication needs to be very clear, concise and as specific as possible. Ask for feedback after communicating to make sure every member heard correctly. You may want to also ask questions to make sure the team is listening.
One downside to team communication is that it is not personal. Every individual has various needs that should be addressed; this is impossible because you’re addressing the team as a whole and not one specific individual's needs. For example, the majority of the team may be feeling sluggish and one person may feel motivated. The leader will address the sluggish issue and overlook the motivated person.