What Is Team Communication

Highly effective teams usually have at least four attributes that give the term team distinct meaning. Let’s take a closer look at how distinctions are sometimes made between teams and groups.

1. Team goals are clear and specific (win the game, win the championship).

2. Teams have well-defined team-member responsibilities, such as positions on a sports team (first base, shortstop, and so on).

3. The rules for and expectations about how the team operates are spelt out; sports team competitions usually have a referee to enforce the rules of the game.

4. Teams usually develop a clear way of coordinating their efforts; sports teams discuss and practice how to work together.

5.1: Roles

5.1 identify the task, maintenance, and individual roles that group members assume


“Who are you?” Now, write down ten different responses to the question beginning with ‘I am ’.

The response entered here will appear in the performance dashboard and can be viewed by your instructor.


These responses are part of your theory of yourself—your self-concept. Your self-concept—who you think you are— shapes your communication and relationships with others. Your self-concept also affects how others relate to you.

5.1.1: Who are You?

In trying to reduce the uncertainty that occurs when communicating in groups, people quickly assess the behaviours

of others. They assign roles—sets of expectations—to others. In a small group, roles result from (1) people’s expectations about their own behavior—their self-concepts, (2) the perceptions others have about individuals’ positions in the group, and (3) people’s actual behaviour as they interact with others. Because self-concepts largely determine the roles people assume in small groups, it is important to understand how self-concepts develop.


7.2: Listening

7.2 Identify four listening styles and describe at least two major obstacles to effective listening

Good listening skills are an important component of being an effective group member or leader.2 However, poor listening habits are one of the most common sources of defensiveness and discord. It is easier to be a poor listener in groups than it is in interpersonal situations because often in a group you do not have to respond to the speaker. After all, the other group members can always pick up the conversation. However, groups cannot reach their maximum effectiveness unless all members listen actively to one another.

listening is a skill that can be improved with practice. It is an active process through which people select, attend, understand, and remember. To listen effectively, people must actively select and attend to the messages they receive. This involves filtering out the other stimuli that compete for their attention: the hunger pangs they’re starting to feel,

mental lists of the groceries they need to pick up on the way home, or curiosity about the attractive person nearby. Improving any skill takes knowledge and practice. This section will provide some knowledge. The practice is up to you. Are you listening?

7.2.1: Listening Styles

Do your ears perk up when you hear someone telling an interesting story, or would you be more interested in listening to data, facts, and details? There is evidence that different people have different listening styles. Your listening style is your preferred way of making sense out of the spoken messages you hear.3 Listening researchers have identified four overarching listening styles: people-oriented, action-oriented, content-oriented, and time-oriented.

What difference does it make to know your preferred listening style? In a small group, with multiple verbal messages coming at you from several people, you may find yourself focused more on one person’s message than another’s. We’ll discuss each of the four listening styles so that you can identify your preferred style and develop strategies for listening that may not come naturally to you.

the Four listening styles

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