It is unrealistic to assume that communication between leaders and team members will not break down. Leaders are responsible for dealing with different personalities within the team environment. Even in the most efficient and effective team environment, there will be situations and issues that can cause a complete breakdown of communication.
Communication can often break down when trust and respect are lost or ignored by members of the team. When there is not enough resolution of chronic conflict within the group, it can also lead to breakdowns.
Communication breakdown can also be caused by team members who feel that their personal interests are more important than the needs of the team. These people are driven by their own desires and will do whatever it takes to disrupt the team environment.
Leaders need to be aware that communication breakdowns can occur in a team environment. Communication problems and studies are more common in the early stages of team growth as people struggle to hold onto power and position themselves in a changing climate. Leaders will discover that a more structured team will be able to deal with communication problems according to its established boundaries, rules, and standards.
A breakdown in communication could have severe consequences for the team’s structure and effectiveness. Leaders need to be aware of this. It is crucial for leaders to be able to identify potential problems and symptoms so that they can anticipate any issues.
Loss of trust and respect
Leaders who allow problems to fester and cause a breakdown in team communication will see a breakdown in trust and respect that is difficult, if any, to repair. These situations can prove fatal for a team and may require the formation of a new one. To restore trust takes time. Leaders must be aware of this fact and take the appropriate steps to prevent the occurrence of long-term problems that could lead to loss of trust and respect within the team.
Hindered Free-Flow Of Ideas
Leaders will notice that communication is less effective between team members when discussions are more subjective and emotional than objective and factual. If arguments are based more on emotion than facts, brainstorming can become a chore, and there will be no free flow of ideas between team members. This effectively stops the team from working together until the problems that caused the breakdowns are addressed.
If communication is disrupted, leaders will notice that some members of their team will try to control the process and subjugate the team to their agendas. These individuals will then use their emotional reactions to intimidate others into accepting their views. This is when trust and respect can be broken among team members. This is where the communication breakdown can lead to the destruction of the team structure, and it becomes open to the willful actions of one or more members.
When communication breaks down and leads to the disintegration of team order, one or more members create a bias that supports their personal agendas. If members allow specific individuals to subvert the team process, it can undermine the whole team effort.
Poor Decision Making
Ineffective decision-making is inevitable when there is a breakdown in communication within the team. Teams are unable to consider all possible options and alternative solutions when they make decisions due to certain biases. Decisions are affected by the preferences of those who control the team. These circumstances will result in poor decision-making and adverse outcomes.
If they are able to hijack the team process, they will use it as a cover for their actions when they make poor decisions. They will not accept responsibility for their actions and behaviors, so they will blame the team environment.