Team conflict is often rooted in communication issues. You may think you’ve over-communicated but your volunteers are thinking they were left out of the loop—again! Keep these tips in mind as you communicate with the people you serve:
Listen, Thank, Respond – These three words say it all. Listen to people as they share their thoughts and feelings, thank them for sharing and then respond to what they’ve told you. This process values people by letting them know you care what they think and feel.
Ask for clarity – Make sure you understand the thoughts and responses of the people you’re communicating with by asking for clarity. A good way to do this is by simply saying, “Tell me more….” Then you can rephrase back their message to make sure you received it correctly.
Avoid arguing – Don’t get caught in a debate or argumentative discussion. That never leads to productive communication.
Say “I don’t know”, when you don’t know – It’s okay to let people know that you may not have all the answers. Don’t set yourself up to be the only source of all knowledge and information.
Avoid sarcasm – Enough said.
Extend grace – Colossians 4:6 says it best, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer to everyone.” If team members lived out this concept you would create a culture that allows people to talk openly and honestly.