Communication is one of the most important aspects of teamwork. Still, a lot of things can disrupt this process or make it very challenging for those involved. For this, one very important tool that we are using is the “Process check”. It means that during a team meeting you freeze everything at one point and ask the people to reflect on the communication process, having in mind:
- Position of the speakers
- Attention (Do the persons show they understand? How? Is there eye contact? Is there feedback?)
- Are there any distractions (people checking the time, looking away, on their telephone, etc.)
- Are all team members involved in the conversation?
- Is somebody speaking too much? Is somebody speaking too little? What do the persons less involved need so that it would be easier for them to contribute?
- Is feedback good, constructive, bringing added value? Any exceptions?
- Is someone being offensive?
Time & planning
- Does the discussion seem to be organized or chaotic? Why?
- Do people check if they fit into the time?
- Is there a positive or negative atmosphere in the group? Why?
- Are people smiling, being kind, encouraging others to feel part of the team?
Continue with the things that are OK. Together with the team try to improve what was identified as not working as good as it should!