Small Group Communication

This small group communication page is for the person responsible for the performance of a team – this person could be any CEO, any manager who has direct reports, any supervisor who is in charge of a working party, etc.

Teams usually tend to work this way:

If your team’s communication quality is better, your team’s performance is also better. But if your small group communication quality is poor, your team’s performance is also poor.

Whether your team has good or poor communication, you and only you – as the boss of your team – are responsible for it. You cannot blame anybody else, because the moment you start blaming somebody else, you begin to fall into the victim role, you begin to loose control, and you decrease the likelihood that you will be able to deliver the results you must deliver.

If you are the chief of your team – whoever you might be: A high rank executive, a mid-level manager, or an entry-level supervisor – you are the person accountable for the quality of the communication within the team you lead – not your direct reports, but you.

Now, what can you do to build a strong team communication?

There are five specific things you can do as the boss of your team:

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First of all, you need candor within your team, frankness, open honesty – without candor, effective small group communication is impossible.

And what is the main factor to ignite candor within a team?


There are even excellent books written about trust; see for example Stephen M.R. Covey et Al., “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything” (Free Press, New York, NY: 2006).

But how do you build trust within your team?

The answer is within you. You need three ingredients to build trust, candor, and great small group communication:


Without integrity, it is very unlikely that you be able to build trust within your team.

Integrity means walking your talk.

It means oneness, it means being consistent in thought, word, and action – you are at peace with yourself as a result of living your own values.

When your direct repots perceive, feel, and live your integrity, they are much more likely to trust you.


If you are to build trust among your people, you must also be authentic.

Authenticity means being totally naked in front of your direct reports (figuratively speaking of course).

Authenticity means showing yourself as you are, with your strengths as well as with your weaknesses, your imperfections, your mistakes, etc.

Since infancy all the way through business school, we have been trained to always show our forte, the side of ourselves we are most proud of, and at the same time, we have also been trained to hide those aspects of ourselves we consider shortcomings – whatever they might be.

Authenticity means telling the truth about yourself – honesty is the fundamental means by which you evoke trust.

When you are authentic with the people you work with, you build solid trust, and you make leaps in improving your small group communication.

But when you are authentic – at the same time – you usually feel vulnerable.


Nobody likes to feel vulnerable – people typically ask themselves, “Will the others take advantage of me if I am authentic?”

You know the people you work with – they are your direct reports. As their direct supervisor, it is your job to know each one of them – that’s on the things you get paid for: To manage their performance.

And your entire team wants exactly the very same thing you want: To deliver the results your team is expected to deliver. You are all on the same boat.

There is no reason to fear anything: You know them well, and you all win when the quality of your small group communication is excellent.

You want to be authentic because your authenticity has a direct impact on the bottom line.

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When you build trust and candor, when you build a truly open communication environment, and when you give and receive feedback in an ongoing basis, you motivate your employees, you create truly effective small group communication, and you build a high performing team.

It is easier said than done of course, but the discipline it requires is well worth it.

To keep on learning about management skills, go back to the previous page (or click here ), and continue reading in a sequential order.

If you would like to explore how your organization could enhance small group communication through my speaking or consulting services, please click on this link.

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