The behavior of the group resulting from the interactions of individual group members is called Social Dynamics. The management of social dynamics and their enhancement is critical to the success of teams at the workplace and therefore their importance cannot be discounted.
Along similar lines, Communication, which is the process of conveying the ideas, information, thoughts, feelings and concepts from one entity to another with the help of mutually understood signs, language and rules, is of immense importance in organizations. Effective communication facilitates clarity of roles and expectations, which are vital to organizational efficiency.
The following measures can be adopted by organizations for the enhancement of social dynamics and communication at the workplace:
- Developing Familiarity and Comfort
Managers or Team Leaders should periodically organize team-building and bonding activities. Activities like team-versus-team contests, informal gatherings, or just simple outings like picnics or going to watch a baseball match together helps the team members in knowing each other better and develops a degree of comfort. They build solid informal relationships which, in turn, ameliorate their relationships at the workplace, thus providing a fillip to productivity and efficiency.
- When in Doubt- Over communicate
Every member in a team works with a set of expectations or assumptions about their roles, their job and the social dynamics involved. However, when there is an inconsistency between the expectations of the individual and the expectations of the superiors or the team, there is a possibility of conflict, which can be highly unhealthy for the team.
Such friction can be minimized by clearing expectations via communication. Another noteworthy point here would be that over communication is always better than giving a brief, vague gist of the matter at hand, as the ultimate goal is complete clarity in the mind of the receiver of the message. Thus, the manager and team-members should actively focus on clarifying roles, tasks and expectations in order to prevent inconsistencies and to ensure the smooth functioning of the team.
- Simplify the Complex.
Employees are constantly bombarded with information at the workplace, as are customers. Therefore, condensing complex thoughts, ideas and concepts into simple, memorable and easily comprehensible terms would work wonders for facilitating clear understanding of the matter being communicated. This may involve breaking down jargon into simple words and communicating the essence of the subject in terms which the team and customers and understand and act upon easily.
- Be an Active Listener
Whether you are a manager, a team leader or a member of the team, active listening will solve a major part of your problems. Active Listening involves listening to others, paraphrasing their problem into your own words, and providing feedback indicating that you have correctly understood the message. Active Listening as a manager helps to resolve intra-team conflicts as well as tackle challenges on the job. Besides, employees feel more at ease when they know that their concerns are being heard and acknowledged, that they are actually being listened to. This helps build trust and cordial relations between the leader and the team members, as well as among the members.
Thus, a few simple techniques can greatly enhance social dynamics and communication at the workplace. Small efforts to ameliorate team relations and little steps towards better communication go a long way in enhancing both, managerial and team efficiency, which are the very basis of organizational success.