"It takes two to
speak the
truth: one to
speak and
another to
"I always
prefer to
the best
of everybody -
it saves
so much

--Rudyard Kipling

Achieving Effectiveness
Through Team Communication

Teams are groups of individuals who work together to accomplish a task/project. Team effectiveness is dependent upon team communication. The quality of the team's work, to a large extent, depends upon the quality of the information shared. The ability of team members to understand and communicate information enables them to work together collaboratively.

The Components of Communication

Communication consists of three main parts. The following chart gives basic instruction for identifying and dealing with these components.

Sensory DataThoughtsFeelings
This is information (raw data) you have absorbed through your senses. It consists of what you have heard and seen, both verbally and nonverbally. It can include body language, gestures, tone of voice, actions, etc.These are your own ideas based upon your intake of the sensory data around you. It is what you have once you have processed the sensory data. These are concrete thoughts, and beliefs, not feelings. This is your emotional response to sensory data and your own thoughts about them. Your feelings may be either rational or irrational based upon the sensory data.
Describe and be open about what you have seen and heard - verbal and nonverbal. Supply concrete information about who, what, when, where and how.Say what you think - believe, interpret, expect. This includes the logical, analytical, and rational processes of weighing data to arrive at a conclusion. Try to disclose your emotions directly, without using the word "feel."
"I'm frustrated...."
"I'm anxious..."
"I'm confident..."
"I'm comfortable."
Recognizing your feelings helps you manage yourself.
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Barriers to Effective Communication

Barriers in team communication result from the inability of team members to distinguish the difference between various communication channels we use to speak, such as facts, individual's feelings, personal values and opinions.

A fact is something that has actually happened or that is really true without any emotional reference.

Feelings refer to any subjective reaction, pleasurable or unpleasurable, that a person may have to a situation, sometimes with the absence of reason.

Values refer to important personal ideals that make people behave the way they do.

Opinions are a set of beliefs not based on absolute certainty but on what seems true to one's own mind.


Feedback is a verbal or nonverbal process in which a team member shares his or her feelings or perceptions about another team member's behavior, action, or words. The process of giving and receiving feedback is one of the most important ways for learning new behaviors and determining the impact of our behavior on others. Almost all aspects of team communication involve feedback - giving and receiving information about team-related experience.

By giving clear and concise feedback, team members and the entire organization will benefit.

BENEFITS of feedback

  1. Feedback reduces uncertainty.
  2. Feedback solves problems.
  3. Feedback builds trust.
  4. Feedback can strengthen relationships.
  5. Feedback improves work quality.
GUIDELINES for giving feedback
  1. Be specific, and give as much as possible.
  2. Be descriptive, not evaluative.
  3. Be timely.
  4. Be honest.
  5. Be on-going.
GUIDELINES for receiving feedback
  1. Be open.
  2. Do NOT be defensive.
  3. Encourage feedback from others.
  4. Honestly weigh and analyze the information.
  5. Use and apply the feedback!
Understanding the components and barriers of communication, as well as giving and receiving feedback are essential elements of effective team communication.

These tips and guidelines will assist team members in developing open channels of communication where team members can learn and grow from each other, thereby becoming more effective in the achievement of their shared goals. Challenge the members of your team with these simple guidelines. Watch for the amazing results!

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Phone (602) 421-9927 • Fax (602) 276-0148
Phone (602) 421-9927
Fax (602) 276-0148
E-mail Linda@InterLinkTC.com