Team Building Harare, Zimbabwe

COMMUNICATION – THE GLUE THAT BINDS TEAMS TOGETHER

Bees have one of the most complex communication languages in the animal kingdom outside humans. When a honey bee identifies a source of pollen, she heads to the colony with the details of the exact location in terms of direction and distance of the food source. When she gets home, she alerts others of the presence of the food source through a specialised dance called the waggle dance. This is the highest display of teamwork which every team ought to emulate. In the event when bees die as a result of entering a field sprayed with chemicals, it is only until others know that something is amiss and they alert those back home. This explains why only a few hours after one honey bee has visited a particular flower that many others are seen around the same flowers. The same applies after a farmer has sprayed some insecticides in a field, the honey bees quickly communicate to members of the team of the impending danger.

The waggle dance is meant at communicating the distance and the direction of the food source. In a short while, the rest of the team members are flying out of the colony heading to the particular flowers to gather the pollen. There is no better way to inspire for great communication than this. If team members are alert to each other’s communication, great results are obtainable. It doesn’t matter how good you are as an individual, if you cannot convey and receive information relating to the team, then nothing much will be achieved.

At the heart of teamwork is the ability by all teammates to communicate with each other. There is no establishment that stands without effective communication at work. lt is interaction that fuels action. The continuity of the team helps in creating understanding of where everyone and the entity is headed. Communication can be both formal and informal. It also ought to be hinged on total trust of each other. Great teams have members who are continuously talking and listening to each other. Great teams have members who are constantly talking and listening to each other. Interestingly, the level of buzzing in the beehive is always high but the job is accomplished.

Central to communication is being in a position to motivate and manage unnecessary and uncalled for conversations that are detrimental to the team. Grapevine can be very destructive to the quest for team effort. ln addition to this, the tendency to create unnecessary factions and mini groups within the team has the effect of creating mistrust. 

Communication ought to be open in all directions- upwards, downwards and diagonally. Whether it is from the leader to the teammates, from the teammates to the leader or amongst the team members, consistent, clear and courteous conversations must be promoted. No one should fear any reprisals for having aired their views. Even if people disagree when they have brought something to the table, this stands to be good for the team as the divergent views are explored. lt is always better to have divergent views freely shared as a basis of building formidable solutions that are long lasting. When a member disagrees with the rest, it doesn’t mean they have chosen to be in opposition. lnstead, it shows that they are committed to the betterment of the team.

Free flow of information ensures that everyone is on the know. Members of great teams are continuously in touch with each other. In the event that the team members operate in different geographical locations, the need for communication to remain open gets higher. Dedication and commitment to communication fires action in the team. Lack of such hinders progress. Good communication can be enhanced through such programmes as training, coaching, motivational and pep talks to keep everyone focused on the bigger goals.

Team action is hampered and comes to a standstill when communication is erratic. Duplication of effort can take place. Some work remains undone whilst somebody is thinking that someone has done it yet nobody would have committed themselves. The general thinking by one department that they are being undermined by others rises.

“Whose Job Is It, Anyway?”

A story is told of four people, Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody. An important job had to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

The story may be confusing but the message is clear as no one took responsibility. Nothing got accomplished at the end of the day. This tends to happen in a team set up where there is no clarity in terms of communication and accountability. Lack of proper communication leads to the blame game.  

Louid V. Gersyner had this to say; “It’s about communication. It’s about honesty. It’s about treating people in the organization as deserving to know the facts. You don’t try to give them half the story. You don’t try to hide the story. You treat them as – as true equals, and you communicate and you communicate and communicate.” 

Noah Mangwarara

Noah Mangwarara

NOAH MANGWARARA is an international leadership coach and transformational speaker, renowned team building expert and Author with traceable footprints of positive impact and experience of more than 20 years spanning Southern, East and West Africa. He is the author of several books on Leadership, Motivation, Teamwork, Strategy and Public Speaking.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This:

More Articles

A CULTURE OF COOPERATION – TEAMWORK WISDOM FROM THE WILDDOGS

Wild dogs may not be appealing physically but their cooperative order is a marvel of teamwork worth emulating. Everything that happens within and around the pack is a lesson that any team aspiring to greatness should take note of. In as much as each member of the pack is strong and uniquely talented, they know fully well that without others, they are highly vulnerable. It doesn’t matter how intelligent, talented or experienced a team member might be, nothing much is accomplished without others. The legendary football player, Pele, would say ‘No individual can win a game by himself.’ Pele was indeed a great footballer but he only became great because there were other players in the playing field. 

Read More »

INSPIRE AND MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM WITH NOAH’S ARK CONSULTANTS

In quality control, there is a concept called feed forward control. It essentially says if the input is correct, with all the systems and people in their rightful positions, the output tends to take care of itself. The other extreme is equally right, if the input is of poor quality there is little magic that can be performed to right the output. At the center of all production and service provision are the people who run the systems and drive everything forward. If the people are not firing from all cylinders, there is no guarantee the output will be good enough. The same principle of feed forward control applies to manpower in greater magnitude. Great teamwork is built from the point of entry. Getting it right from the recruitment process goes a long way in building up a formidable team. People are however exceptional in that even though they might have the knowhow, productivity can drop as a result of the goings on in the environment or other developments within the workplace that can water down their morale. The need for continuous motivation and inspiration cannot be ignored for long.

Read More »

TRUST, CONFIDENCE & RESPECT IN A TEAM

“If you want your team to go further and help team members to sharpen their talent and maximize their potential, when things don’t go well, take more than the fair share of the blame, and when things go well, give all of the credit away.” (John C. Maxwell

Read More »