In a previous article, we introduced the three key elements of communication that affect team performance according to a recent study measuring the effectiveness of teams. The key elements identified are:
- Energy – how members contribute to a team as a whole
- Engagement – how team members communicate with one another
- Exploration – how teams communicate with one another
This week we are looking at the part engagement plays in the communication of effective teams. Engagement of a team reflects the distribution of energy among team members. If all team members have relatively equal and reasonable high energy with all other members, engagement of the team is extremely strong.
However, some teams have clusters of members that communicate with high energy exchanges while others do not perform as well. There is an inconsistence of the level of engagement within the team. Those members who are highly engaged are passionate doing their jobs including the times when they communicate with team members. Other team members may just be doing their job or they may even be disengaged so that communication on the team suffers.
Sometimes improving engagement across the team can be as simple as creating a common coffee break time for the team members or starting a regular social event (like a sports team for after work hours). This could increase the number of interactions, especially informal ones, and raise the team’s energy level.
Next week: “Exploration– How Teams Communicate with One Another”
*(Source: Harvard Business Review, “The New Science of Building Great Teams”, by Alex “Sandy” Pentland)