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how to dramatically improve your team communication

How to Dramatically Improve Your Team Communication

by | Mar 29, 2018 | By Karin Hurt, Communication, Winning Well |

Use This Practical Tool to Improve Your Team Communication

The best way to improve your team communication is to talk about it. Most team frustration stems from expectation violations, not just about what we’re communicating, but how. It’s always inspiring to see a team carve out some time, shut the door, and have a reflective, candid conversation about how communication is helping and hindering progress.

Here’s a Winning Well team communication checklist we use with our clients and in our virtual leadership programs.  You can download a FREE formatted tool here. Team Communication Check-in.

Winning Well Team Communication Check-in

We encourage you to use this tool with your team and let us know what you learn and what you do next.


  • We encourage one another to “Ditch the Diaper Genie” and celebrate when we speak with respectful candor.
  • We solicit and encourage new ideas.
  • I feel encouraged to stand up for my point of view.


  • We “Own the U.G.L.Y.” and schedule time to talk about what’s not working and how we can improve.
  • We have a proactive strategy for soliciting “full-circle.” feedback up, down and sideways.
  • I admit when I’m wrong.


  • We clearly communicate our expectations of one another and frequently Check for Understanding.
  • We hold one another accountable (and have I.N.S.P.I.R.E. conversations as needed).
  • I know what I need to do to succeed on this team and what the team needs to achieve to succeed in this organization.


  • Our meetings help us achieve results and build relationships.
  • We have clear, shared expectations regarding timely responses to emails, voice messages, and texts.
    • Email Timeframe: _______________
    • Voicemail Timeframe: _______________
    • Texts Timeframe: _______________
  • We respond to emails, calls, and texts in a timely manner.
  • On this team, I can say what I need to and I will be heard.

Your turn. What are your favorite ways to communicate about communication? What would you add to this tool?

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today!

Want more human-centered leaders in the workplace? Share this today?


  1. Jay Brantley

    Leadership that is very skilled at seeing what is not working and communicating how to fix it must be equally skilled at seeing what is working and communicating how to celebrate it.
    At a recent meeting of over 100 primary care providers who are the life blood of our organization the Director of Finance reported the financial results of last fiscal year. He reported that we had been budgeted to loose millions of dollars but had ended the year better than budget. He further clarified that we had not just achieved being less negative than the budget had predicted but that we had achieved a significant positive bottom line. The Director of Finance went on to articulate how the efforts put forth by the primary care group had impacted these wonderful results. The response by the group was “dead silence”. In fact the leader of this group then stepped to the podium and emphasized how difficult this was going to be to achieve next year.
    If you only see the weeds, you will miss the garden!

    • David Dye

      Jay, what a great example – we coach leaders in presentations to start by asking: “What do I want this audience to think, feel, and do at the end of this presentation?” Make that crystal clear and aim every part of the presentation to make it happen – for both good news and the challenges.

      Thanks for adding to the discussion!


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Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders find clarity in uncertainty, drive innovation, and achieve breakthrough results.  She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Powerful Phrases for Dealing with Workplace Conflict, and hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.

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7 Practical Ways to be a Bit More Daring

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