Do Your Teams Communicate With One Another?

Business Edge-smart growth strategies-marcia

In our office, the right hand doesn’t knowing what the left hand is doing. So we get calls from customers whose accounts are wrong. They said they paid on time. We don’t have the record and we’ve charged them extra fees. Of course, they are hopping mad.”[su_spacer]

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]A[/su_dropcap] FRUSTRATED accounting manager, Dan, asked me how to solve this problem. As we talked, I found out the problem was not his staff. They were competent and knew their jobs. The problem was silo-it is when teams or departments don’t talk with one another or talk past one another.

Whether you call it silo-itis or an “us” vs “them” mentality or communication bottlenecks, it needs to be dealt with. Here are the three suggestions I gave to Dan to bring teams and departments together.

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1. Just start talking, playing, eating together.
Have a once a week or month free “all you can eat” pizza lunch. Set it up so people from different departments sit together. Have contests that get them working with each other. Use fun to break down barriers.
2. Conduct team building with department heads.
Properly conducted team building can dramatically improve how well people communicate with each other. The focus should not be on finger pointing but on how to work better together to serve our customers. Once the heads are in sync, then do team building between the different departments. This keeps the flame of cooperation – and innovation – burning brightly.
3. Improve communication flow.
Sometimes we don’t have the right information or too much or too little to do our job well. Here’s a solution. Each work group develops an information chart to share with others. The chart has three columns labeled: need-to-have, nice-to-have, don’t need to have. It can also state the frequency and quantity of needed information.[/message][su_spacer]

In a recent team building effort, I’ve heard these comments: “You mean you don’t use that report…wow, not doing it every week saves us at least 5 hours.” Or, “you really need that…hmm, let’s see what we can do.”

[su_box title=”SMART MOVES TIP” style=”glass” box_color=”#2f598a”]Pay attention to these danger signs: Missed deadlines, increased customer complaints, vital information not being passed on, duplication of work or bickering and blaming when things go wrong. Act quickly. Have regular scheduled “let’s see how we’re doing” meetings to address issues, conflicts and uncertainties. Also provide ongoing training in communication, group problem-solving and conflict resolution. So, before it’s too late, what can you do right now to improve communication flow between teams, work groups or departments?[/su_box]

My Motto Is:

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got. Therefore, MOVE outside of your comfort zone; that’s where the MAGIC happens.” To bring that magic to your leadership and business, subscribe to Marcia’s monthly Execubrief: Business Edge- Smart Growth Strategies with insights, intelligence and inspiration on how to build great businesses that matter- those that do well and do good.

Did You Know That a New Kind of SMARTS is Needed?75% of leaders are derailed for reasons related to emotional competencies, including inability to handle people problems, unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust. – Center for Creative Leadership. Do you want to boost your emotional and social intelligence and be a more effective leader? Let me help you do it!


Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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