‘I will learn more of a man in an hour of play than a week of conversation’
(Incorrectly attributed to) Plato
Wherever you work, whatever the task and whatever the size of your team, communication will make or break it. No matter the individual talent of the members, and no matter what structures or guidelines you put in place, a team cannot be effective without open, clear communication, especially in moments of pressure. An efficient and open flow of information is the difference between success and failure.
Because a team is not a single thing. A team’s strength comes from the relationships between the individuals within it. Their shared experiences and understanding of each other giving context and depth to day-to-day communication. Maps of each other’s minds built over time allow us to understand what people are saying and meaning. And, even more importantly, what they need.
This form of communication does not come automatically. Good teams take the time to learn how to work together, what they need to say when, and to whom. Team building gets a bad name, but have you ever tried working in a team that was just a group of people?
Even when a team trusts each other and communicates well, all of this good work can be disrupted by external stresses, new members and changes in external circumstances. Taking good communication for granted is a surefire way to employee dissatisfaction, high staff turnover and inefficiency.
Of course, there are many forms of communication training available. But conventional communication training often concentrates on how to talk or write. The sending of a message, how to make sure the other person is receiving what you want them to. But this is only part of the story. To fully communicate and connect, you also need to listen carefully and be aware of what surrounds the message.
Improv classes give people the opportunity to get to know each other outside of a typical work context, to laugh together and to discover what each other is like in a way that is much deeper than. And perhaps most importantly they learn to listen to all that is being said. Because it is only when you do that that you can really respond. Then, and only then, are you really communicating.
Contact us to discuss your team’s needs in the contact form below.