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Effective Communication Is Critical to Team Success As a team leader or member, you need to understand that good team building

g communication is intrinsic to the success of your team.

Poor communication hinders a team's ability to accomplish its goals.

When... There are mind numbing discussions over details. There's ongoing conflict between a couple of team members. A team member successfully leads the team along a rabbit trail. Meetings go much longer than their allotted time. Teams rush headlong into premature or irresponsible decisions. There's a prolonged absence of mutual care and respect on a team.

...There's usually an absence of good team building communication and these are just some of the symptoms!

Be aware of the pressures your team may be under. They have goals to accomplish and there may be some very high expectations to do with outcomes. This is true whether it's a team of cub-scout parents planning a camping trip or it's a major corporation looking to bring about some significant change in a company. Concerns or fears should be addressed and eliminated, not minimized. This encourages healthy team building communication. When meetings feel unproductive and energy is lost rather than gained, the team needs freedom to talk about what's working and not working.

What is working well that we need to continue doing? (Always start with something positive!) What are we not doing that we should be doing? (e.g. set some team ground rules; work on an appropriate team building exercise) What do we need to stop doing? The leader may feel stuck about what's not working, but the member's collectively may know what needs to change or improve. The question is: Do the members feel safe to discuss their ideas and tell the truth?

Communication- is the exchange of thoughts, feelings, and other information. Nurses endeavor to understand and meet the many needs of a diverse client population...nurses must establish therapeutic relationships with their clients and the quality of those relationships is directly related to the quality of communication between nurse and client.

Time and Place





Verbal Auditory Nonverbal Visual Written Kinesthetic Arts Feedback

Initiates the process of communication by generating a message Messages emerge from peoples need to relate to others and to create meaning from the world around and inside themselves

Derived from the senders internal and external experiences.

Internal Stimuli
E.g. Hunger, fatigue, and cognitive experiences

External Stimuli
E.g. Physical sensations, sights, sounds, touch tastes, and smells.

Is the medium through which the sender transmits the message.

Visual Channel
Involves sight

Auditory Channel
Consists of spoken words and other verbal cues.

Kinesthetic Channel
Refers to physical sensations mediated by touch.

Interprets the message, infusing it with meaning specific to his personal experience.

The receivers reaction the senders message. Its function is to provide the sender with information about the receiver s perception of the interaction. Feedback can either facilitate or impede effective communication.

Characteristics of Effective Feedback Specific rather than general Descriptive Provided in a supportive, nonthreatening manner Given in a timely manner Practical and appropriate for the individual client Clear and unambiguous Direct and honest

Perception Cultural Context Time Space and Distance

1. Verbal Messages they are communicated through words or language.

Paraverbal cues: these are cues that accompany verbal messages. These includes the ff:
Pitch Tone of Voice Speed Inflection Volume

2. Nonverbal Messages they are messages communicated via body language rather than words, though the two very often coexist.
Nurses must pay close attention to nonverbal cues in order to accurately interpret changes in client behavior.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Facial Expressions Posture Gestures Touch Physical Appearance

Veteran Nurses (born 1925-1945) Nurses in this generation are most comfortable with inclusive communication systems that build trust. Face-to-face or written communication may be more effective than communication that involves technology, but query individual nurses about which communication channels theyre comfortable with. (Duchscher & Cowin, 2004)

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1962) This generation prefers communication that is open, direct, and less formal. Boomers enjoy processing information as a group and value staff meetings that provide an opportunity for discussion. They prefer face-to-face or telephone communication but will use e-mail. (Duchscher & Cowin, 2004)

Generation X (born 1963-1979) This is the first generation that experienced technology as part of daily life. Gen Xers may become bored with meetings that include considerable discussion. (Karb, Fuller, & Sirias, 2002)

Millenials (born 1980-2000) This generation grew up with instant messaging and cellular phones. Millenials prefer immediate feedback and may become frustrated if they do not get it. They appreciate team meetings and use them as a forum for communciation. They read less than other groups, so limit the distribution of policies and procedures to them.

Millenials (born 1980-2000) Chat rooms and e-mails are good ways to provide communication updates (Sherman, 2006).

Be visible as a leader Give a 60-second informationals Invite staff or clients to help with a project. Validate opinions Resolve problems

Huddle spontaneously for no more than 15 minutes to brainstorm, give vital updates, boost enthusiasm, and renew collaboration. Meet daily for no longer than 30 mins when you must direct team activities, discuss emerging changes, or make announcements that everyone needs to know to complete work that day.

Meet weekly for less than an hour to check progress on reports or projects and to review employee, staff, or client concerns. Meet monthly or quarterly for less than 90 minutes to review long-term program progress, assess group or team progress, or analyze performance patterns. (Humphrey & Stokes, 1998)

Directly communicate to staff nurses about how client-centered environments are designed to heighten collaborative decision making. Communicate to staff nurses that they are change agents and can successfully transition to different work situations and be positive role models for clients and caregivers. Few workers can adequately anticipate the extent to which their roles might change in response to managed care.

Actions to reduce backfire in positive feedback Link praise to results. Find another way to provide inspiration if verbal praise disrupts work. Ask employees or clients what type of praise they value most. Use praise to build up other performance areas that need growth.

When receiving criticism, it is useful to: Avoid catastrophizing. For example, do not assume that one criticism is tantamount to being fired. Acknowledge the criticism. youre right, I did (If the criticism is true.) Use assertiveness techniques to counter unfair criticism. Vow to learn from the mistake.

Learn about your supervisors goals, and align with them. Anticipate problems. Close gaps. Keep your supervisors informed. Use positive reinforcement.

Things to avoid when disagreeing with a supervisor include: Assuming you are right and your boss is wrong. Implying you to refuse to do what has been ordered. Saying the action is notin your job description. Implying the directive wont work. Claiming the action is unethical (even if it is).

Greet everyone. Avoid misusing beepers and cellphones. Take invitations seriously. Return phone call and e-mails. Apologize after mistake. Listen carefully. Say no.