Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Using Formal and Informal Team Communication

Communication is so fundamental to collective action and human interaction that one has to wonder if it isn't THE fundamental principle of all societies. Teams rely heavily on communication to ensure that all parties understand their parts and coordinate their activities to achieve their goals. If communication isn't clear or forthcoming the team begins to break down and become ineffective.

Meetings may not be the most exciting time spent in the work place but do help to formalize the team's identity and goals through physical and social presence. Team communication creates the official doctrine of the team and what it hopes to achieve.

What might be more important is the unofficial team communication that occurs behind the scenes. As people negotiate their responsibilities and work toward fulfilling their work they will have lots of conversation and sharing of information.

Effective communication requires the formal and informal methods of sharing information. The formal creates the framework while the informal keeps the work moving forward. Having regular team meetings and communicating formally can help foster grater informal discussions that lead to better projects. You can steer the later by the former.

Formal Communication: Meetings, Memo, Documents, Emails and Publications.

Informal Communication: Text, Phone, Emails, and Face-to-Face conversation.

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