10 Behaviors That Weaken Your Team Communication Skills
- Scaring people away from the table by acting aggressively from a position of authority
- Shutting down open dialogue by acting aggressively from any position in a group
- Limiting the possibility for people to disagree with you by wielding your expertise like a weapon
- Avoiding important issues by trying to be nice at the expense of being effective
- Limiting dialogue and learning by dismissing or discounting views with which you don’t agree
- Covering up important ideas, views, data, and concerns
- Sacrificing candor by feigning agreement
- Downplaying or sugar-coating an important issue
- Killing discussion or stoking an argument by putting forward your idea as if it’s an absolute fact
- Treating people who see the world differently as non-team players, malcontents, or nuisances.
Conversational capacity refers to the ability – of an individual or a team – to have open, balanced, learning-focused dialogue about tough issues and in challenging circumstances. It’s a vital competence, but this capacity is hard to maintain. All too often we behave in habitual ways that diminish it, with unfortunate consequences for our success and productivity – both individually and as a team.
Here is a list of the top 10 behaviors that lower your team communication skills:
Do you see any of these behaviors in your business meetings? Are there any behaviors you’ve seen that you would add to the list? Building strong team communication skills isn’t easy; it requires self-awareness, self-criticism, courage and humility – a difficult balance to strike. By doing your best to avoid these behaviors, and by encouraging your team members to do likewise, you set a strong example and make it clear that you recognize the value of good conversational capacity for your team.