Building Stronger Teams - Part 1
Teams are formed to cohesively work together towards goal attainment. However, effective collaboration and cohesivity are not always present within working teams. Sometimes creating synergy in teams is challenging. Members often fail at working together for common goals because individuals’ expectations and objectives are unclear. Effective communication is one key success contributor to building stronger teams and achieving organizational goals. Therefore, building effective communication within teams is paramount and begins with leadership. Leaders can be the initiators of communication. Leadership communication significantly influences team building, follower’s behaviors, team performance and the overall organizational success. More importantly, it is useful to understand that team communication is beyond transmission of information. Team members may be more receptive to change and organizational processes and goals if leaders are able to properly communicate expectations and potential outcomes.
Challenges may arise in managing communication within teams. Team diversity is one major challenge leaders may encounter when managing communications1. The new modern workplaces include virtual spaces which are bombarded with emails, telephone calls, electronic discussion boards, pushes intranet letters, reports, faxes, and calendars. Teams consist of multi-generational cohorts who respond to communications methods differently. Cultural differences challenge how leaders effectively manage team communications, which impacts team cohesion2. Therefore, it is recommended that leaders examine and understand their teams’ composition, and not from assuming that one method of communication will be suitable for all team members. Effective communication is essential to building stronger teams.
1 Brett, J., Behfar, K., & Kern, M. (2020). Managing multicultural teams (pp. 155-164). Routledge.
2Sánchez, C., & Arndt, R. (2020). Managing the global virtual workforce: Reducing the liability of foreignness. Journal of Applied Business & Economics, 22(1), 130–137.
DR. TAMARA B. SMITH, PMP
Tamara Smith is an associate vice president at AECOM with 21 years of professional experience in the transportation industry. She is a project management professional, responsible for planning, overseeing and managing various multi-million-dollar projects from inception to completion. With a strong understanding of the impact and implications of decisions, she consistently analyzes project issues to make sound, well-informed and objective decisions for her clients.
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