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Team Dynamics: Fostering Communication & Promoting Cooperation

1. Overview

  • Promote clear communications with succinct, direct, and unique statements
  • Encourage effective communications by promoting team cohesiveness and ensuring collective understanding
  • Improve communications by using cooperative rather than competitive strategies
  • Cooperation is displayed by performing assigned roles, working together, and directing efforts toward a common goals
  • Deal with rudeness by investigating the behavior; confronting the behavior; deciding whether or not to respond; offering support

2. Promote Clear Communications By. . .

  • Stating or restating purpose/goals to ensure focus on priorities
  • Discussing one topic at a time
  • Leading with the main point 
  • Making the point clearly and concisely
  • Keeping the message simple
  • Using short direct statements
  • Avoiding long-winded indirect arguments
  • Adding unique concepts (not repeating what others have said)
  • Stating decisions clearly to ensure understanding
  • Providing regular feedback to maintain focus on goals

3. Encourage Effective Communications By. . .

  • Promoting team cohesiveness
    • Recognize both personal and team goals
    • Commit to transparency (no hidden agendas)
    • Accept different opinions and perspectives
  • Ensuring collective understanding
    • Assess team members’ familiarity with information
    • Share all pertinent information (both positive and negative)
    • Confirm the meaning of common words across different professions

4. Improve Communications By. . .


  • Focusing on your perceptions instead of  judging or accusing team members
  • Being problem oriented rather than controlling
  • Clarifying your needs and including team members in finding a solution instead of having ulterior motives
  • Conveying empathy for team members rather than indifference
  • Empowering team members and valuing their contributions instead of making them feel inferior or inadequate
  • Acknowledging other points of view and possibilities instead of being narrow minded and unwilling to listen

5. Foster Team Cooperation By. . .

  • Putting team needs first
  • Respecting and trust each other
  • Seeking out and share information
  • Incorporating and act on team members’ suggestions
  • Accepting and perform unpleasant tasks positively
  • Following through on action items
  • Completing individual tasks on time
  • Helping team members complete tasks, if necessary

6. Deal With Personal Attacks, Disrespect, and Antisocial Behavior By. . .

  • Investigating the behavior and addressing the underlying issues
    • Judge the person’s rudeness fairly (Was it a blind spot or malicious?)
    • Investigate the reason behind the rudeness by simply asking “Why are you treating me this way?”
    • Attempt to understand the person’s perspective
      • Address the root cause concealed behind the rudeness
  • Confronting the behavior 
    • Call the person out on their inappropriate behavior in a polite, firm manner
    • Summarize the behavior so the person can realize how inappropriate it was
      • Avoid over analysis of the situation if confrontation doesn’t result in change
  • Deciding whether or not to respond
    • Take the power out of the rudeness by not taking it personally (even if it was meant that way)
    • Ignore the behavior, keep your dignity in tact, and refuse to escalate the situation
    • Remove yourself from the situation or limit contact
    • Realize that you can’t change other people
    • Refuse to engage habitual offenders; allow them to figure out their own issues
  • Supporting the individual when possible
    • Offer immediate help to resolve a frustrating situation
    • Increase your value to the person by becoming a problem solver
    • Resolve to remain professional and pleasant while offering assistance

7. Additional Reading