Improving team communication

Written by
Cornelia Kirschke
|
August 10, 2020
ID37 team communication
Teams are made up of people with different personalities and behavioral patterns. In order to get the best performance out of a team, it’s essential to understand individual personalities, individual behaviors, and how each person communicates. An ID37 team analysis differentiates personalities within a team in a way that allows it to become the foundation for efficient internal group communication and teamwork.

What makes a team perform well?

In a team, individual performance matters in achieving overall team performance. Teamwork relies on the synergy effects of a team’s individual members. Teams that include different personalities are therefore desirable. At the same time, diversity in the team brings with it particular challenges: The more diverse a team is, the greater the likelihood that interpersonal conflicts arise. Managers in charge of team development need to create the conditions that foster diversity, and they must leverage the potential that diversity brings. One of the most important prerequisites for a high-performing team is that all members are prepared to deal with themselves and with others, and that they are willing to accept and appreciate differences. Team communication can be learned. Optimizing communication skills within a group accelerates team development processes and improves team performance.

Key elements of good team communication

When we speak of communication skills, we are referring to those skills that team members have or should acquire in order to tap into diversity as a team resource.

  • Understanding one’s self
    Self-awareness refers to the knowledge you have about yourself and how you process things. People tend to consider their own motives and values to be what’s best for themselves and for everyone else. Those who know their own motives usually recognize that others have different values.
  • Dealing with reality
    The ability to recognize that everyone has their own reality, that there is not one truth, is crucial to successful cooperation. Understanding this helps us think about the reactions of others: We think less in terms of “right vs. wrong” categories and more in terms of “as well as.” In situations involving a conflict, this means you can more readily accept that, in certain cases, no one person is right. Those who are willing to engage with another person’s reality are also more likely to seek the benefits of other perspectives.
  • Empathic communication
    To have empathy means being interested in achieving a shared understanding, that is, listening, actively posing questions, and demonstrating that you have understood something. Active listening is not the same thing as listening without speaking, it is an activity. To be empathetic also involves being sensitive to another person’s reaction. You have to be prepared to give and accept feedback, and to present your opinion in a constructive manner.
  • Having an impact with speech
    How you say what you say is just as important as the content of your statement. I–driven statements name a specific behavior with precision and describe the effect it has. Instead of saying “You are unreliable,” one can say: “I noticed today that you were more than 10 minutes late. This is the third time, and I can tell that it bothers me.”
  • Tolerance for ambiguity
    The ability to endure difference means being open, leaving what’s unresolved behind and being able to accept contradictions. Mistakes are tolerated. Having tolerance for ambiguity enables a team to make good use of its differences.

Those who engage with their own personality can more clearly distinguish the boundaries of their specific reality from those of others. This is one of the key conditions for successful communication, and it is often the primary rationale for using the ID37 personality assessment with teams.

Improve team communication with ID37

An ID37 team analysis examines team composition through the prism of motives-based personality profiles.

Team composition – an example

Fig. Team composition – ID37 motives profiles for all team members P01-P07

The team analysis shows where team members complement and block each other. It shows where there’s potential for conflict. It identifies who leads the way as a pioneer and who takes on the role of the risk manager within the team.

Different types of behavior in communication become visible

Fig. A look at just one motive – SAFETY – clearly shows the diversity within the team

Once the analysis has been processed and evaluated, measures addressing communication behavior – such as feedback or conflict – can be promoted on an individual basis. An ID37 team analysis is the starting point and basis for ongoing reflection on communication skills and developing them at an advanced level. Should new team members be added, the team analysis can be easily extended to include them.

The advantages of an ID37 team assessment for improving team

An ID37 team analysis improves team communication by allowing

  • team members to understand themselves better;
  • team members to get to know each other better;
  • for the identification of similarities and differences within the team;
  • team members to develop a common language with respect to these similarities and differences;
  • for an explanation of group dynamics and behaviors;
  • for the promotion of mutual understanding and respect;
  • for the development of strategies to promote team strengths;
  • for the identification and elimination of potential sources of conflict;
  • for the creation of common team values and respect-driven rules of behavior.

ID37 makes it possible to fine-tune team communication. That’s what makes it so valuable.

Research shows that team performance can be improved by good communication

Researchers have shown that the best way to develop successful teams is not to select members based on their competencies and skills, but according to how they communicate or are willing to improve their communication behavior (Sandy Pentland, The New Science of Building Great Teams).

Take action now!

Find out why ID37 is the method and tool of choice when it comes to improving team communication:
Contact ID37 without obligation, or contact an ID37 instructor directly and learn more
Decide for yourself and try out the ID37 personality assessment (fee required)