Three Tips on Personality and Communication for teams
The one factor that I have come to realise which has a major impact on team environments is the individuals which make up any team. Chances are, you have noticed this on teams which you have been on.
Have you ever been on a team where the members are passionate about their ministry and love God genuinely, yet interpersonal issues have still arisen? Have you ever communicated something to another team member, only to walk away feeling as though they didn’t quite understand you? Yeah, me too! Frustrating – right?!
While not a silver bullet, there are some simple communication tips that can be applied to assist with your team environment.
1. Get to know your team members as human beings.
This sets you up for a win when personality issues arise. If we only seek to get to know our teammates in the ‘work’ setting, we only get to know one aspect of their lives. Spending time with team members outside of the team/ministry environment is a great entry point to getting to know your team members better as human beings.
2. Help your team members get to know each other.
Create time and space for the team to get to know each other beyond their surface level. The likelihood is that over time they’ll better understand each other’s personalities and points of view. A great way to do this is through relaxed social events, story-sharing activities, meeting in homes or team retreats.
3. Speak their language This may be the most important tip I’ll share.
Everybody communicates in a slightly different way. Right? This means that everyone receives information and feedback differently too. It’s important to speak in a way which can be understood by the hearer.
Before communicating important information to your team members, ask yourself the following questions:
• What am I trying to achieve ? (i.e. what do I want them to understand)
• Based on their personality/gifting, what do I need to ensure I cover when speaking with this person or people?
• Based on their personality/gifting, how can I communicate to them in a way that they will understand me best?
If your motivation is to communicate differently to an individual so that they will get what they need to have a better understanding of the goal or task, then this is positive.
Will these few quick tips fix every communication issue that may arise due to personality within your team - probably not! But they are great foundation stones for building understanding within a team dynamic.