Saturday, November 14, 2009

3D Juggling 453: Team not talking to you?

Jane writes: 'When running a series of Communication workshops Lynn and I came across a manager who was frustrated by the fact that, however hard she tried, she could not get her team members to speak up at team meetings. She was convinced that they had useful things to say – things they were saying at other times to other people – things that could help the team to develop and become more effective. What was the problem?

By exploring with this manager how she preferred to communicate (and be communicated with) she was able to acknowledge that her approach at team meetings was linked to her preferences – direct, in the moment and expectant of an immediate response. She also recognised that the preferences of some of her ‘reluctant’ team members were different – they needed time to think about and prepare a response, to be sure of facts before speaking, and acknowledgement of the impact that any changes would have on how people worked together.

With this in mind the manager adapted her approach to her team meetings by sharing an agenda before each meeting so that team members could prepare their thoughts. When she needed to reduce break times and ensure that mobile phones were not used in the workplace she acknowledged that her team members would have concerns about keeping in contact with family and friends, and about their rights. This enabled her to communicate with them in way that enabled the changes to work with agreement. The longer term result - many more contributions, great ideas and a more effective team!

We used DiSC profiling to help explore communication preferences with this manager. Contact us to find out more about DiSC and how it can support team building, conflict resolution, recruitment, and appraisals. DiSC was also featured in the Health Service Journal 26 October 2009.'

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