Negative Communication and its Impact on the Team

Written By: admin - Apr• 20•08

This article identifies the types of negative communication that lead to conflict, and destroy team values.
Minimising conflict with effective communication

Did you know there are 5 types of communication that lead to conflict?

Let’s look at
them…

Definition of ‘Conflict’

It helps if we first define what we mean by ‘conflict’ 

Conflict is an expressed struggle between at least two parties, both of whom perceive interference from the other towards achieving their goals 

A conflict can only exist when both parties are aware of a
disagreement

The 5 types of negative communication that lead to conflict 

 Negative communication We all know a ‘Negative Nigel/Nancy’ in every team — they exist and we find it near impossible to remove them. But constant negativity drains the other team members of enthusiasm, energy and self esteem. So Nigel and Nancy need to be confronted with their behaviour. This can best be achieved if all of the other team members individually feedback the effect of this behaviour on them. 

An ‘I message’ is the best approach for this–such as, “Every time I put forth a suggestion your negativity frustrates me and I find it hard to work with you.” 

 Blaming communication 

Blamers spray blame around, effectively stopping reflection and scrutiny of their performance and behaviour. However, their impact can be reduced by fostering a learning environment, as well as the use of ‘I messages’, peer pressure and individual feedback. Find out what the blamer’s issues are and try to address them one by one. 

 Superior communication

Superiors’ frequently order people about, direct, advise and moralise. They are also very skilled at withholding information. Such behaviour sets up team members for frustration, resentment and sabotage. But ‘superiors’ and their behaviour can be addressed with individual assertiveness and ‘I messages’ *

Dishonest communication 

Dishonest communicators frequently fail to practice listening to understand and fail to display empathy. They also display circumlocutory communication — also known as ‘talking around the issue, not addressing it’. It’s kind of like casually wandering around the outside edge of a garden when what’s really required is to walk confidently through the middle of it. Dishonest communicators also often use royal or imperial ‘WE’ statements — as in, “We are not amused” – when in reality it is just they who are not amused. They also deliberately choose to not address unprofessional behaviour or behaviour that is damaging to the team and its mission. All of which leads to a dysfunctional team. But it can be addressed: everyone in the team must insist on open, honest communication, foster mutual respect, stop blaming, bullying and harassment. 

 Selective communication

 Selective communicators only tell what they think others need to know, hence keeping themselves in a position of power over the other team members. Such behaviour can be effectively addressed through assertive requests for having access to all the
information. The importance of a team’s values to communication There are negative team values that can actually sabotage good communication within a team. For
example: "As long as I do a good job that’s all that matters to me” undermines team cohesiveness and
co-operation. "Problems are the result of other people’s mistakes” is also
unhealthy. "If someone ‘stuffs up’ it’s their problem” is really not helpful to
anyone. Such values induce competition, not co-operation and collaboration. These team values destroy
teamwork! 
by Lee Hopkins

When you match consumer psychology with effective communication
styles you get a powerful combination. At Hopkins-Business-
Communication-Training.com you can find the secrets to
communication success. At Hopkins we show you how to communicate
better for better business results.

www.hopkins-business-communication-training.com

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