Five Levels of Team Communication

Quickly Benchmark Your Team Communication Effectiveness

How Effectively Does YOUR Team Communicate?

This is an important question because as you know, even small communication mistakes can result in lost profits, poor morale, disengagement, and even destroyed relationships and companies. Before you answer the question, let me define the word “communication” for you. It’s a word that get used all the time, but is rarely defined. Here’s my definition based upon a decade of research and working with organizations of all sizes:

Communication is the transfer of an idea from one person to another.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s not. Everyone can talk but you know from experience that many times teams can be less than successful when transmitting ideas between the team members. Unfortunately, some teams rely primarily email and concentrate on transmitting facts rather than sharing ideas in a safe environment.  A surprising amount of teams are either ineffective or actually nonfunctional and destructive.

What About Your Team?

To help you get a quick measure of your team’s communication effectiveness, use the infographic to the left and mark where you think your team falls on the five levels. If you want to get a more accurate idea, hand out the graphic to your team members and let them vote anonymously. You may be shocked at what you find. To give you a point of comparison, here’s an overview of some preliminary data that I have gathered when working with a variety of organizations.