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effective team communication

Every team has established communication patterns and norms - the Communication Culture™ of the team.

Whether these behaviors and patterns are positive or negative, they are enforced by one or more persons in the group through verbal, non-verbal, and emotional control that quickly lets members know what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.

Some of these patterns empower your teams and cause your organization to grow and thrive.

But... some of the patterns can cause conflict, lower productivity, increased turnover, and sometimes even destroy the business.

find the communication culture of your team now!

Team Communication Tendencies

The interactions between team members are complex and can vary by situation and role, but all teams have natural tendencies and patterns that combine to create what we call their Communication Culture™. 

Most of these interactions go unnoticed, but if you think about it, you will recognize them.

Here are nine of the eighteen aspects of a team's communication culture. What is the culture of your team?




Team members don’t feel safe to express their ideas and emotions

Team members feel safe to express their ideas and emotions


Communication is almost exclusively about facts

Communication is about ideas as well as facts


Communication is focused on the needs of the individual

Communication is focused on the needs of the group


Conflict many times is not resolved or results in resentment because a solution is imposed   

Conflict is approached with the desire to resolve and everyone feels valued and heard even if they don’t get what they want


Most team members focus on what they want to say

Team members seek to focus on understanding what the other person is saying


Communication is dependent on email, text, and other electronic media

Communication is about ideas as well as facts


Communication is frequently invalidated

Team members seek to understand each other even if they don’t agree


Team members blame others or outside factors for communication failure

Team members accept responsibility for the outcome of their communication


Meetings tend to be unproductive and viewed as a waste of time

Meetings are highly productive


How To Change Team Communication Patterns

Most people are resistant to change because they don't know what do do, don't know if it will work, it seems like it will be hard, and they don't want to take the risk that the new way might be worse than the old way.

The current way of doing things might be unpleasant, but at least they have the certainty of knowing what to expect in most situations.

Yes, the "comfort zone" is alive and well.

But only because people don't realize the benefits of the change, and even more importantly, they probably don't recognize the consequences of continuing to do what they are currently doing.

It's just human nature - and we have frameworks and solutions that make change attractive and desired instead of feared and avoided. We invite you to get in touch to find out how.

Why Team Communication Patterns Are Important

Communication is the fundamental skill that all team interactions are built upon. You probably know from experience that poor communication leads to conflict, pain, delays, substandard results and disgruntled team members. And stress for you.

Here's an example:

Team Communication Problems

Tina gets wrapped up in details instead of the final product while John wants to start every meeting by talking about weekend plans.

David tries to exert his authority

Susan makes suggestions.

Tyler misinterprets them as criticisms…

Everyone gets frustrated and the meeting ends with resentment and everyone in a bad mood.

4 Steps To Improving Team Communication

The interactions between team members are complex and can vary by situation and role, but all teams have natural tendencies and patterns.  We have identified eighteen of these patterns and here are eight of them.

Self Awareness

The first step to improving team communication is for each individual team member to become aware of their individual communication tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. Paul believes that most people are doing the best they can with what they know, and that a simple process of creating individual awareness can bring amazing communication improvement fast.

A great resource for doing this is our Communication Styles 2.0™ Personal Insight and Team reports.

Uncover Patterns

Of course, teams are made up of many individuals so understanding the way these individuals  interact with each other is key to improvement.

Sometimes there are natural personality and style conflicts, but other problems can be caused by conflicting values, beliefs and hidden motivations and needs. Or, maybe someone has been offended in the past and is using passive/aggressive behavior as a response.

The possibilities are almost endless, so be sure to give this considerable thought.

Evaluate Culture

Every team and organization has a communication culture that reflects "how things are done", what is acceptable, and unacceptable, and rewards and punishes these behaviors.

Understanding this culture and making needed changes is important to improve the effectiveness of your teams.

One Thing At A Time

Sometimes, once a decision is make to improve team communication, leaders try to do too much at one time.

Because of this, Paul recommends creating structured plan that begins with identifying the real causes of the problem (you might be surprised), then introducing and reinforcing one improvement at a time.

This systematic approach prevents overwhelm and makes sure everyone understands what is expected, knows what to do, and has sufficient focus and resources to make permanent changes that remain even in times of stress.

How A Communication Expert Can Help

Of course, there are many fine books, videos, and courses available to help you diagnose communication challenges, and some times these can be all you need to get the results you want.

But an outside communication expert like Paul can use their experience and knowledge to shortcut your learning curve and provide insights and resources you can't get any other way. The cost of team communication problems  compared to the cost of an expert like Paul is high.

You Might Be Too Close To The Problem

We've all been in situations where the solution to a problem is obvious to everyone but us!

It's entirely possible that the solution to your communication problem is simple, but you are too close to it (or part of it), and you can't correctly understand what is really going on or what to do about it.

Experience and Resources

A communication expert like Paul Endress can leverage their years of research, study, and working with thousands of people and hundreds of teams to identify the problem and provide proven solutions.

Many times when companies approach Paul about a communication problem, they are describing the symptom of the problem, not the actual problem itself. Once the real problem is identified, a path to improvement can be developed.

Authority Is Important

Bringing in an outside expert such as Paul (whether virtual or live) adds important credibility to the program and gives people greater confidence of success which increases their willingness to leave their comfort zone.

It also allows your leaders and existing training staff to fully participated in the program since they don't have to expend energy to create and implement it.

Having Paul into your organization also removes existing biases and allows even difficult problems to be addressed in straightforward and constructive ways without picking on or offending anyone.

Create an Inflection Point

Having a virtual or live event creates a time of focused attention that everyone recognizes as the starting point of doing things differently.

Properly introduced and promoted (we'll show you how) this event will be eagerly anticipated. Once people recognize the benefits they will receive from the program, they will approach it with an open mind and look forward to it.

How is Just As Important as What

Even after the communication problem has been correctly identified and a plan is in place, the advanced interactive teaching techniques of a true expert with over a decade of experience makes sure your event is fun and people actually use what they learned when they return to work.



Communication Culture Infographic

Communication Culture Infographic Smaller

When communication patterns are well established, it can be difficult to convince team members that internal people know what they are doing.

Difficult People Cheat Sheet

Difficult People Cheat Sheet Larger

When communication patterns are well established, it can be difficult to convince team members that internal people know what they are doing.

Team Communication Case Study

Communication Styles Case Study Paul Morgan 4

When communication patterns are well established, it can be difficult to convince team members that internal people know what they are doing.

Because effective communication is the foundational skill that underlies all other skills, our mission is to create frameworks and strategies that any person or team can use to communicate more effectively regardless of their background or current skill level.

©Paul Endress. All Rights Reserved


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