Communication…is SO very important.  Most of our daily conflicts are the result of poor communication skills.  Think about your daily interactions.  Whom are they with?  What’s your style?  Do you say what you mean or do you tip-toe around the subject?  Do you tend to use humor?  Sarcasm?  What is your basic style of communication?  And what does the style you use most say about you?  And how does all of this impact the success of your teams?

DIRECT COMMUNICATION:  Say what you mean.  Be exact.  Don’t leave any room for interpretation.  How can anyone make good, sound decisions based on unclear information?  I am ALWAYS guilty of saying EXACTLY what is on my mind.  Perhaps I could use more “tact” as my husband calls it, but everyone is always sure where I stand.  That’s how I communicate.  Direct.  Straight to the point.  Most things are “black or white” to me.  Right or wrong.  I am a very literal thinker and do not “read between the lines” very well at all.  This is why I communicate in a direct manner and this is what I need from others or I just don’t “get it!”  Use this form of communication sparingly.  These individuals are often seen as over-bearing or “snotty.” Complete directness is not always necessary.

SARCASTIC COMMUNICATION:  Using “humor” to, indirectly, insult an individual.  Perhaps this indicates a low self-esteem or a feeling of inadequacy on the part of the individuals who use this form of communication.  I do not understand why it is necessary to, jokingly, say anything to someone with an intention to hurt them.  People always walk away from a situation where sarcasm was used wondering, “What were they really meaning to say?”  There is always a sense of “uneasiness,” feelings are hurt, some people get angry.  This is a touchy communication style.  Use it sparingly, if possible, or not at all.

ANGRY COMMUNICATION:  Stating EVERYTHING in an angry tone of voice.  Something is ALWAYS wrong.  These folks are chronic complainers.   Life is so difficult FOR ALL OF US!!!  Trying to be up-beat around these individuals doesn’t help a whole lot.  They probably aren’t even aware of how they’re presenting themselves.  Over-use of anger becomes irritating to teammates.  However, used sparingly and appropriately, it can be quite effective.

HUMOROUS COMMUNICATION:  Always joking around or laughing during most of your conversations.  Jumping from one topic to another, with little regard to depth of topic covered.   Some individuals rarely discuss difficult or serious issues.  Too much humor becomes irritating.  Used sparingly and appropriately, humor can add “the perfect flavor.”  I’ve never thought of myself as a very funny person, but I must admit I’m getting better with practice and I, thoroughly, enjoy it!

SAD COMMUNICATION:  We all have our down days and this is okay.  Some  teammates will try to help you get out of the dumps, temporarily, however their support will begin to fade if you get stuck down AND wallowing.  This could, then, be viewed as a negative, attention seeking behavior pattern.

Other communication styles could be mentioned, as well.  However, these few were chosen to just get you thinking.  A healthy mix of various communication styles is, likely, most successful to utilize throughout your day.  I encourage you to take note of those styles utilized by yourself and your teammates.  Perhaps a greater awareness of how these different styles directly impact the outcome of your daily conversations will allow you to alter your approach, as indicated, to increase the success of your daily encounters with teammates.

Goodluck!!!  And GO TEAM!!!  WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!!!