Ninja Communication Skills
Welcome to part two of the three-part blog post of The Ultimate Guide to Workplace Team Building.
Here, let’s dive deep into how team building significantly affects team communication.
What is Team Communication?
Communication is the process of exchanging information between people or groups to understand each other’s thoughts, feelings, ideas. In a business context, effective communication means being able to share knowledge with others.
How Does Team Communication Work?
Team communication can take many forms, but it always involves two things:
- exchanging information between individuals;
- sharing knowledge with others.
The more you share how you feel, the better you understand each other and build trust among teammates. It leads to greater productivity and efficiency.
How to Improve Team Communication?
Team building is an excellent way of improving the communication skills of your team. It helps you understand each other better. And, it also enhances teamwork among all members.
Here are some tips on how to improve workplace communication with your colleagues:
1) Be open-minded
It’s easy to become defensive when making mistakes. But, being open-minded means accepting criticism and learning from past experiences. What’s more, it can help people see things differently and think outside their box.
So if someone is giving feedback about your performance or ideas, try listening without judging first. It may be that what he/she says isn’t true at all; instead, maybe you’re just seeing things through rose-colored glasses. If so, ask yourself why this person might say such an unkind thing? Is it because s/he doesn’t know how good you really are?
2) Use body language
Body language plays a huge role in conveying messages from our minds to others. It has been proven time and again to be more powerful than words alone. In fact, studies have shown that even if someone says something positive, negative emotions are still conveyed through their nonverbal behavior.
If you want to convey certain emotions, use hand signals. While talking to your colleague, you can try making eye contact, nodding your head, smiling, frowning, shaking hands, touching shoulders, tapping fingers together, etc.
These simple gestures can tell your teammate exactly how you feel about them.
3) Make yourself heard
One thing that often happens during a meeting is that only one person speaks, and everyone else listens. While listening, you should avoid interrupting by saying ‘Ummm…’, ‘yeah..’, or ‘I think so too!’ It can be a great way of showing your interest in what the other persons are talking about. But, it also makes them feel like they have been interrupted or not listened to. Instead, try using phrases such as “That sounds interesting,” “What do you mean?”, “Can I add something here?” etc.
Try these fun activities below. These games will get everyone talking and make them feel like they are part of something bigger. And, will make them more likely to work together as a cohesive unit.
1. The “I’m Sorry” Game
This game can be played by any group of people and is a great ice breaker for new groups or teams. It’s also an excellent way to teach the importance of apologizing when you make mistakes!
What you’ll need:
1-2 sheets of paper, markers, tape, scissors, and some time.
Start with one person in each team standing on opposite sides of the room. Next, ask both players to write down three words describing themselves. Then, give each player a marker and ask them to cross off every word that defines them. Once done, pass around the papers. Let the first person read his description aloud while crossing off each item he reads. After reading the last sentence, the next person must apologize for whatever was crossed off. For example, if the previous player said she likes chocolate cake, the next person would apologize for eating it. Then, the second player apologizes for being rude, and so on until all team members have apologized. Finally, the original two players switch roles and repeat this process.
2. The “Who Am I?” Game
This is another fun teamwork exercise. It will allow participants to learn more about each other than ever before.
To play, divide into pairs. Each pair takes turns answering a question posed by another member of the group. Next, the leader asks a series of questions that require answers based upon information provided by the other participant. Examples include: What does your partner look like? Where did you meet? How old were you at the time? Who is your best friend? Etc. When finished, the leader gives out points according to the number of correct responses given. At the end of the round, whoever gets the most points wins!
3. The “Name That Tune!” Game
Everyone loves music. We’re sure there are many songs you know you can identify by hearing their melody instantly. Then, challenge your teammates to name the song without looking at the lyrics?!
Start a conversation between two random teammates who aren’t involved in the game. Ask them to guess the song’s title and see whose guesses come closest to the actual title.
4. The “Guess My Name” Game
This will test your knowledge of names and how much you know about your colleagues’ lives.
All you need is a sheet of paper, a pen, and a timer.
Take turns writing down five facts about yourself. Then, pass the piece of paper along to someone else. As soon as they finish writing, hand back the paper and tell them what you think their answer should be. They may choose to reveal their true identity after guessing correctly once or twice. You could use this method to know whether anyone has been lying to you during introductions.
5. The “Next Time” Game
This is a classic game used to help break the ice whenever meeting new people. Share something personal about yourself without sounding too forward.
Here’s how it works:
First, pick up a small object such as a coin or keychain from somewhere near the table. Second, place it on top of a napkin and invite others to do the same. Everyone will now hold onto a little token representing something unique about themselves. Third, turn over the napkins and collect them. Now, you can begin asking questions about the objects held by your friends. Questions such as: Do you remember the day you bought this? Did you buy it here? Why do you carry this everywhere? etc., will allow you to discover even more exciting details about your fellow guests.
These activities guarantee to get everyone laughing and having fun together. Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to practice those essential communication skills. These games are great for getting to know one another better.
The best way for a team or organization to be successful is by having everyone on board with one goal in mind. It can only happen if you have an effective communication system that allows people to work together and communicate effectively.