Communication: Problem Solving’s Biggest Problem

Big Communication Problems

Teams often break down because of unresolved differences and communication breakdown. It need not happen to you and your team. You can learn and use a proven and effective communication process.

Effective Teams Communicate Well

A team is two or more people working together to accomplish a common purpose. To successfully work together, communication is critical.
Teams have tremendous potential. Each member brings unique knowledge, understanding, expertise, intuition and energy, but these assets are not immediately obvious or accessible. Tapping a team’s genius is the challenge.

Ineffective Teams Communicate Poorly

Unfortunately, teams harbor misperceptions, partial understanding, blind spots, invalid assumptions, irrational responses, prejudices and biases. The key to successful teamwork is to separate untapped resources and misperceptions, utilizing the former and discarding the latter. The CRCA Team Communication Cycle facilitates the sorting of the valuable from the worthless.
Follow the five sequential steps of the CRCA Team Communication Cycle:

1. Ask a probing question.
2. Provide time to find potential answers.
3. Report all potential answers.
4. Discuss and analyze all potential answers.
5. Agree as a team on the answer

Effective Team Communication Process

Ask a probing question
A probing question is one that cannot be answered yes or no, but requires someone to draw on their knowledge, experience, insight, expertise, and intuition to formulate a response. Probing questions require a search for an answer. Probing questions drive inquiry and curiosity.

Provide time to find potential answers
Team members need time to find and formulate their thoughts. The emphasis is taking time over quickness for Introspecting, Interviewing, and Investigating.

Report all potential answers
Each team member reports potential answers to the team. By offering one idea at a time, in turn, every  member contributes to finding the best answer to solving the problem.

Reason and judgment applied too soon will stifle communication and foster group think. When this happens, the information flow is retarded and the likelihood of solving the problem is jeopardized. The DANGER in team problem-solving is not that the team will be misguided by misinformation; but rather the team will not get important information in the first place.

Discuss and analyze all potential answers
Evaluate, modify, expand and clarify all potential answers through open, logical, rational, issue-focused discussion. Reasonable, issue-focused discussion is basic to CRCA. Intuition will guide the team to the best answer. Rational discussion will lead the team to synergy.

Agree as a team on the answer
The communication cycle is complete when the team agrees or consents to agree with the answer to the probing question. This is the “go” or “no go” signal in each step of the problem-solving process. If a team moves ahead without agreement, the outcome will be in jeopardy. Team agreement on the answer to the probing question is the ultimate goal of the communication cycle.

Want to learn more;

Read, Problem Terminators an Amazon Kindle ebook.

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