We have many communication options these days – phone calls, faxes, emails, text messages, and so on. You can even communicate with just a single emoji. Who hasn’t sent a message to someone that was just a single emoji? (And, I bet it was probably the little “poop” emoji. wasn’t it?) Sometimes it seems as though traditional, face-to-face meetings are disappearing. In fact, it looks like the more options for communicating that we have available, the less real communication occurs.
The Value of a Good Team Briefing
I often say, “I am a B.A. guy in a B.S. world.” By that, I mean that I am probably one of the only individuals at my place of employment without a Bachelor of Science degree. Most are engineers. My degree is a lowly Bachelor of Arts degree. And it is in Mass Communications. And, finally, it is from a fairly unknown school. However, I have leveraged that little degree fully throughout my career. And one of the things that I recall about the communication process is that it has 3 parts and not just 2. We often think of the “sender” and the “receiver”. But we often forget the all important “feedback”. And unfortunately, feedback is extremely hard to discern outside of face to face communication. And even then it is hard to discern its real meaning.
So, for today, let’s look at Team Briefings and what role we have as leaders in that setting. And let’s consider the characteristics and benefits of well-run team briefings.
The basic characteristics of a team briefing are as follows:
- It does not always need to be formulaic and formal. It can be more relaxed.
- It is conducted face-to-face with a small set of team members and not an entire business unit so that it can be less formal.
- The team leader organizes the meeting and presents the information.
- The meetings are short – typically 30 minutes or less.
- Questions are encouraged and answered forthrightly. If the leader doesn’t know the answer, he/she finds it out and reports back.
Whether it’s top-down, bottom-up, or side-to-side communication, your team needs to know what’s happening to them, around them and sometimes, in spite of them. When information is shared regularly and openly, there are many benefits:
- Team members that know what the organization wants to achieve are much more likely to work to achieve it.
- The team that knows what each team member is working on are able to prioritize and delegate work.
- Team members that understand the obstacles they are facing will have an opportunity to collaboratively find solutions and prepare a strategy to overcome them.
- The team leader that maintains regular communications ensures that what needs to be done is actually being done.
- The team leader that reinforces his or her role creates trust, cooperation, and commitment as a result of their openness.
- And if you have remote team members they will get to know one another better and they work together more effectively.