Any business strategy to achieve effective communication for teams in Kenya must underscore the importance of understanding the needs of both the individual and the team members. Leaders must appreciate that it’s the teams that deliver results and that team productivity will be a direct reflection of the communication skills possessed by the individual members of the teams.
What is Effective Communication for Teams in Kenya?
In order to understand the importance of effective communication for teams in Kenya we need to start from the very basics. The word communication originated from the Latin word communis which means shared meaning. It also means the commonness of understanding between people or teams. Effective team building can only be achieved if team members share a common meaning to both their strategic and team objectives.
Communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another. It involves a sender transmitting an idea to a receiver. Effective communication occurs only if the receiver understands the exact information or idea that the sender intended to transmit and is able to act on it.
It has been said that the role of communication in a team can be likened to the role of blood circulation in our bodies. Human life can only be sustained when blood is pumped promptly, persistently and in the adequate amount. It’s the same case if team productivity has to be sustained. Leadership must ensure that they promptly and persistently sustain the necessary communication adequately. The human heart doesn’t discriminate any part of the body in its relentless effort to sustain life as each part plays a cardinal role in sustaining the life of the whole. Likewise leaders must endeavor to disseminate information as indiscriminately as possible.
Importance of Effective Communication in the Workplace
The moment we lack adequate or the right circulation of the blood our very life is threatened. It has also been said that ‘communication is depositing a part of yourself in another person’. Similarly our business is threatened if we lack effective communication in the workplace for both our internal and external customers as well as our stakeholders.
All relationships involve communication, whether through the spoken or the unspoken word. In essence communication is what establishes, maintains and sustains a relationship. Equally true is that it is bad communication that kills a relationship. Leadership is greatly influenced by the way we communicate to others. Good leaders must, therefore, be effective communicators.
Quick Tips for Effective Communication for Teams in Kenya
Business and team leaders must put elaborate efforts to establish, maintain and sustain strategies in effective communication for teams in Kenya so as to achieve the organizational strategic goals. The following tips can go a long way in helping organizations enhance their strategic communication:
- Ensure all important information is shared promptly to everybody so as to deter any grapevine.
- Hold regular but focused meetings and team briefings to update teams on all important issues.
- Nominate Communication Champions to manage both team and organizational communication.
- Embrace the principle of giving and receiving feedback to enhance interpersonal communication skills.
- Engender a leadership style that is less formal, interactive, collaborative and visible.
- Establish an ideas scheme to elicit more participation in team building.
- Inculcate good listening skills as an effective strategy in group communication.
- Hold team building activities to enhance bonding and trust as key elements of communication management.
The Heart to Heart Principle in Effective Communication for Teams in Kenya
Leaders who have mastered the art of communication know very well that effective communications for teams in Kenya can best be achieved through heart to heart or inspiring communication.
Although it takes many different skills to build a team or a relationship, there is no skill any more important than your ability to understand the other person or other people. People who communicate from the heart are responsive to the needs of others and always seek to understand them so as to develop their communication skills as well. The words of Anatole France are true here, “It is better to understand a little than to misunderstand a lot.”
Oftentimes, judgment instead of understanding seems to pose a great challenge to business communication. Many of us carry an imaginary yardstick that is often prejudiced in judging everything and everyone around us. We expect or demand that others act the way we think they should, and if they don’t we get upset.
Heart to hear communication means the maturity in your ability to offer communication that is brewed in the pot of love. This kind of communication involves words such as:
- You can depend on me – this indicates your dependability to offer selfless support in the interest of individual and team development.
- You are valuable – let your individual team members know the value you attach to their contribution in the business growth.
- Please forgive me – there is no greater maturity in communication skills and leadership than owning up to your mistakes. Contrary to many beliefs it’s a show of great leadership and it’s one of the best ways to earn respect from others.
- I will try to understand you always – when people know that you always mean well and that you shall not judge them by their communication, verbal or visual, you will gain their trust.
- I am your friend not your boss – engender a relationship for mutual growth where communication strategies go beyond co-workers to symbiotic friendship.
- Thank you – be on the look out to catch people doing right and give this feedback promptly and let others know.
- You can do better – Never condemn people when they make mistakes, but help them pick the learning from their actions. Endeavour to create a blame free environment in the workplace to enhance productive communication.
- You can change things here – Let people know that the future of the business depends on their contribution and that the business expects them to be accountable for their personal development.
Team Building as an Essential Business Communication Tool
Team building sessions can be a very essential tool in enhancing business and team communication. Team building activities can be carefully selected to offer lessons on the three types of communication namely:
- Verbal communication – The choice of words used in communication. Words should positively empower people by showing respect, courtesy, trust, credibility, passion and team work.
- Vocal communication – The tone of voice and pace of speech are more influential than choice of words. Let your tone be responsive to team members’ feelings by being responsive to their needs.
- Body language (visual) – This has the biggest potential impact in communication skills. People remember more of how they see you behave than what you actually told them. It’s good to always focus on harmonising your words, how you speak them and your body gestures.
During the debriefing sessions of the team building exercises we are keen to observe the communication skills as teams execute their tasks. Both the desirable and undesirable communication behaviours are noted. Productive or positive behaviours are reinforced whilst unproductive or negative behaviours are substituted. Teams then come up with a packing list on the kind of behavior transformation that will be needed to enhance team communication and performance. Team members are then able to individually commit themselves to the desired change and apply it in the workplace.
Additionally team norms can be generated and used as a way of improving communication skills at the workplace. Communication Champions may be charged with the responsibility of ensuring implementation and regular review of the communication tenets agreed upon.
Through effective communication, leaders are able to influence and inspire others. It is through this influence and inspiration that team members support their leaders to deliver the desired results.
If you would like to experience our shared learning in achieving effective communication for teams in Kenya through our programs: Communication Intimacy® or Harmony® (team building events) you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.orgShare this inspiring article