Patterns of Interaction

How often are you communicating with your team? How about with key stakeholders cross functionally? Are there people in either of those groups that you are not talking with on a regular basis? Do they know it? Are they aware that they are on the outside? If you are unsure and cannot answer these questions definitively you should start tracking how often you interact with others and take note of the emotional climate as you interact with them. Is it a pleasant exchange, is it rushed, are you smiling, angry, etc.?

Do this for a week or two and then lay it out graphically to see how often you are interacting with your team and key stakeholders. There is new research that shows effective teams are based on the patterns and frequency of communication between one another. It is not even about what is being said. Rather, it is more about how often and how the communication occurs. Researchers at MIT are literally able to measure these patterns and variables like tone, posture, emotional resonance to determine if a team is highly effective.

There is another layer to this little experiment, and it is based on old research. Focusing on inclusion and exclusion into the in-group provides you with insight into who is being left out and not heard. It should tune you into who is either unable to contribute because their voice is not being heard. Or conversely, you may find that they have the opportunity to contribute but are unwilling to contribute. Your question then becomes why? Is it because they lack the confidence to do so, or is it because they lack the ability?

This is a pretty simple experiment to run, but it will shed important light onto how effectively your team is communicating and the patterns of your interaction within each of them.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *