Team communication is imperative for effective results in any team environment, whether it is a workplace or volunteer group or any other congregation of people working towards a joint cause. Meeting as a group and hashing out communication techniques as a group allows for individuals to express their concerns or issues openly and effectively problem solve within the group to resolve them.
Statement of the Purpose
Address the initial purpose of the team meeting first. This allows each person to gather her thoughts and opinions on that issue to have some input once the team starts sharing its ideas. It is more effective to announce the reasoning for the meeting before convening the group. As the mediator, stating at least two reasons for the gathering gives the group more to build on than simply opening the floor up for discussion.
Working as a team is usually the result of a group of people working toward a common goal. Make sure that everyone in the group knows what the goal of the team is. If one person does not know then it is likely that several others are unaware. You can write out team goals and discuss them individually or bring them up within the group to discuss amongst each other and then share thoughts and opinions.
Clarity of Responsibility
To effectively work as a team, it is important for each person to know his role within the group. If the group is a large enough that everyone may not be acquainted, have each person go around and say her name and her specific job within the organization. This ensures that two people are not performing the same job twice and certain jobs are not being neglected because of confusion among team members. If the organization is small, you can simply have each person discuss what he has been doing for the organization lately.
At the end of the meeting, ask each member to verbalize or write some sort of feedback from the exercises. Don't be afraid of criticism, as not all members are going to feel positive about the discussion. Getting reactions from the group gives valuable input for the next meeting. Team members feel more open to state problems that need to be solved via anonymous feedback than by bringing it up in the middle of a large group. These can be used as kickoff points for your next gathering.
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