What can be done to “fix” teams that have very poor communication problems?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With a rapidly-changing millennial society that fluctuates demographically, financially, and psychologically, it is no surprise that the chances of bad communication will be higher now than they were years ago. The reason for this is precisely the highly heterogeneous personalities that, as a rule, must come together to work as a group within a society that continues to shift paradigms and constructs.

A current practice taking place as part of business models is cross-cultural communication training. This sort of training explains the differences and similarities among cultures and the way in which demeanor and attitudes vary from person to person. It also taps on what is considered appropriate and ethical at the workplace as a whole.

Listening workshops and group activities are quite encouraged. Some group members within a business do not realize that they skim and scan through messages; others are cognitively impaired to correctly process information; others are just bad listeners. Hence, a listening workshop re-teaches listening skills and short memory retention. These workshops are known as "Dynamic Listening".

Creating workplace "coffee-room" rules, also known as "aisleway" rules, or "water cooler etiquette" entails enforcing parameters and limitations to be followed: in a world where most socialization is done through the Internet, it is not surprising to find young, intelligent professionals still lacking basic social manners due to a lack of overall interaction. For this reason, employers have had to literally write down rules to follow and explain what good manners are to ensure that all flows naturally. This does not need to be posted at each corner of an office, but pointed out in a daily morning memo.

The morning memo aids to make ends meet and provide consistent information about what is going on. When it comes to work dynamics among co-workers, the morning memo can serve as the conduit through which expectations are set and rules of etiquette can be listed and hinted at.

One last consideration is peer-mediation. Having a trained peer-mediator on site can certainly ease any situation because peer-mediators not only help solve issues, but they work the environment in a way that also prevents them.

These are some common trends for fixing communication problems at the work place.