Transform your team’s idle banter into an effective project management tool.
When we, as project managers, choose to share our views with our team, cohesiveness increases. Conversely, when our team members decide to talk to us about their concerns, we begin to see the project more clearly. Conversation is the currency with which we exchange ideas with one another.
Click below to discover how to build strong teams with communication…
It’s not always apparent where somebody stands on an issue. It’s difficult to understand them, if they’re not articulate. Your team looks to you for your stance on project-related matters. If you don’t speak your mind, then your team will follow your lead.
When you create an atmosphere where people are free to share their ideas, collaboration and trust blossom. Encourage continuous open dialog and watch how your team opens up. Remind yourself that there are no stupid ideas when you’re trying to build a high functioning team.
Here’s three things you can do to encourage team talk:
Greet Everybody You See
It’s hard to warm up in the morning. I prefer to remain in bed for 2 or 3 extra snoozes than to jump onto the cold floor as soon as I hear the alarm. It’s the same when I get to work. I’d rather stay curled up in my head than to speak to anyone until I absolutely have to.
By forcing myself to make friendly eye contact with people I pass in the hall and then offer them a simple and warm “good morning”, I break out of my fog of introversion. After a few greetings, I snap into team talk mode, ready for a full day of extemporaneous speaking. My team members pick up on my cue and respond similarly.
Call a Brainstorming Meeting
Have all your team members sit together at a round or oval-shaped table. The purpose of the meeting is to gather ideas on how to approach a specific-related issue. Any topic will do. Tell them that all ideas are of equal value. This meeting is not about making a decision, but generating the maximum number of ideas. Remind them that the more they open up and trust their peers, the more enjoyable this meeting will become for them.
Mix Business Talk with Personal Chat
You need your team to be loose around you. This won’t happen if your interactions are solely project-related. As soon as they see you approaching, they’ll begin to prepare their canned responses. Try initiating recurring conversations about current events, their weekend activities or their family. Don’t pry, keep it light.
A PM relies on his team to collaborate with each other. It shouldn’t be a hassle to work with your team. By encouraging team talk, you’ll discover that the day becomes more enjoyable and the project benefits from the ease of communication.