Activity Feed Discussions Blogs Bookmarks Files

Lack of Communication

Lack of communication in a workplace is usually a sign of team strife. When team members don't get along they tend to avoid speaking. This can be changed by addressing any underlying issues that are causing the tension in the department. How can one avoid that?

1. Weekly team meetings: the leader asks each individual why they aren't communicating with the other members and/or the leader.
2. Individual meetings with each team memberbecause some people are too shy to complain in front of others.
3. Surveys submitted to each team member to be answered anonymously.
4. A team meeting to discuss the survey results and how to improve communication

You probably can't avoid the situation. You just need to handle it quickly if it comes up.

Good technique. Thanks for sharing.

I would just add that there are a number professional tools that provide professional surveys just for this purpose. Having a third part involved sometimes help drive the point home and participants are more open to change.

Ron Obstfeld

Great points! May I add that in order to improve communication among team members and leaders. Everyone must cultivate a good habitat for contribution of opinions. Furthermore, the encouragement of ideas between team members and team leaders are a must in keeping channels of communication open. Finally, the use of positive feedback by the team leaders to those opinions and ideas from team members will encourage team members to feel recognized and comfortable in making such contributions.


Great add-on. Thanks for your thoughts.

Ron Obstfeld

The idea of the survey is fantastic. I wish everyone who is a leader think about that and truly cares about it results!


Survey results can be a powerful tool to effect organizational and behavioral change. Try it!

Ron Obstfeld

It is hard to address underlying issues, but a lot of it is when one team member perceives something to be true about another team member when it may not in fact be. For example someone may dominate a meeting because they are passionate about the idea not because they are trying to exert their control. Or in a meeting when someone will not share ideas because they think they are not liked, so they will just sit and be quiet. Perception plays a huge role in team strife.

Great points Sharon. The key here lies in the team leadership. It is up to the leader to recognize these behaviors and then work to modify them. This will not only help the team but also change the behavior of the individuals preparing them for future teamwork.

Ron Obstfeld

I really like the idea of a survery as well. This gives a good idea as to where the team players stand.

Agreed. Periodic surveys help strengthen a team and avoid many problems.

Ron Obstfeld

I think it's critical to point out that addressing the underlying issues will only work if the leadership is strong. If the team members are having personality conflicts for instance and the leadership is weak, then confronting the issues may not resolve the situation. Often team strife is escalated to involve more senior management, like the HR department, when some clear conversation between individuals involved would resolve underlying tensions. In my past experience, if the department head isn't comfortable or able to faciliatate a conversation between conflicting staff members, the whole team continues to suffer.

Agreed. The only way to resolve the issue is change the leadership or these issues will never be resolved. Unfortunately senior management does not always act quickly and decisively to solve these types of people issues but that should not deter anyone from for pursuing the correct path/

Ron Obstfeld

I have always stated that perception is reality in this circumstance we should recognize our own part in the communication issues. I have tried to address issues with individuals who start to break down communication line. I am from a different region of the US than most of my coworkers. I recognize that this can be the issue at times.

I have always believed you need to bring the negative to the light so everyone knows. Sometimes you just have to confront situations so the tension will subside.

Kristina ,
It is always good to confront situations head on. If you don't, issues will fester and effect team morale, effectiveness and efficiency.

Ron Obstfeld

It is always good to acknowledge the value of the other team members veiw. While in a meeting have the team members explain the reasons they disagree,this may bring light to where the problem stems from and you can take steps to resolve it quickly.

Valerie ,
Remember too that some people are uncomfortable discussing diagreements in a group setting. You may also want to consider one-on-one sessions of bringing the two people who are disagreeing together for candid exchange.

Ron Obstfeld

Sign In to comment