What Deters Effective Teamwork?


On the way to creating a Team Talk communication habits questionnaire, I asked leaders across multiple areas this question: What deters effective teamwork? The typical Empathizer-type leadership viewpoint is that lack of communication detours travel on the two-way communicator highway…. (In contrast, Instigator leaders believe lack of action detours problem solving.)


An Empathizer viewpoint of the enlightened team…

  1. Purpose – goals – combined efforts
  2. 2-way listening
  3. Open talks
  4. Honesty
  5. Transmitting factual information
  6. Open-mindedness from prejudices

…are the tall broadcasting stations of stellar communication that broaden our horizons.


What our Empathizer team member and leader specifically had to say…

Without communication, nothing else is possible. Team members cannot organize and combine their efforts. They cannot know what their roles are within the team. They cannot understand what their purpose is or what their goals are.

One deterrent to open, honest, clear communication is an unwillingness to listenUnless one is willing to listen, one cannot receive information. We are all equipped with senses to receive information: ears to hear, eyes to see, noses to smell, fingers and skin with which to feel, tongues with which to taste. Willingness to listen means that we must allow others to speak.

Another deterrent to open, honest, clear communication is an unwillingness to talk. Unless one is willing to talk, one cannot transmit information. We are all equipped with means to transmit information: mouths to speak, eyes to blink or wink or roll, hands with which to sign or gesture, arms and legs which can be crossed or opened wide or swept in grand gestures. Our willingness to speak provides the opportunity for others to listen.

Communication is a two-way process. Without the willingness to give each team member the opportunity to speak, we will not hear what they have to say…and, we must listen actively – not merely give the appearance of listening. If we are not willing to give each team member the opportunity to listen, we will not say what he or she must hear.

Biases, prejudices, and pre-conceived notions also hinder communication, and ultimately, effective teamwork. When we uncritically filter our communications through the cloudy glass of biases, prejudices, and pre-conceived notions, the result is a muddled, diffuse aura of information. We can begin to compensate for their effects on our communications only when we are aware of the filters we carry with us, and how they influence our communications.”


Want to make a strong….smart…confident…team fly?

Empathizer Talk Team Winning Habit: Our willingness to speak provides the opportunity for others to listen.

Instigator Talk Team Winning Habit: Our willingness to listen provides the opportunity for others to speak.

In sum, without communication, nothing else is possible. With communication, anything is possible. The choice is yours.


Everyone profits by traveling on the two-way communicator highway of Empathizer and Instigator communicators. What is your communication style? How do you avoid accidents on Communication Highway? How do you maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses to get positive results when the chips are down and the pressure is on? In his customized and interactive Talk Team workshops, Dr. Dennis O’Grady will help your team focus on how to be excellent communicators in both business and personal relationships.  To learn more, talk directly with Dr. Dennis O’Grady at 937-428-0724.

“It all boils down to good communication…always has and always will…”

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