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Constructive communication

Teams with more constructive dynamics feel safer psychologically, which in turn makes them more enjoyable and more productive.

Take a moment to think through the following:  

  • Are you listening carefully to what people say, and what they are trying to express? Or waiting for your turn to talk? Try to build directly on what they have said.

  • Does what you are about to say link in a positive way to what the other person has just said, or are you just trying to make your own point?

  • When you talk, is there a possibility that you are coming across as critical to the other party? Even if you disagree with what they are saying (which is good!), you need to find a way of responding that can point out where you have a different view but can still leave the other person feeling respected. You can disagree with a point without being personally disagreeable in the way you phrase your view. 'Disagree without being disagreeable!'

Now, as a team, ask for contributions on the following topics:

  1. When we communicate together, are we doing so in a way that meets the needs of all team members?

  2. How well do we listen to the quieter voices in this group?

  3. What might we need to do differently?

  4. When we communicate: what would you appreciate more of, and less of, from your colleagues?


Write notes on your thoughts and conclusions. The next step is a 'team charter' to formalise how you'd like to speak with one another, and what you want members of the wider practice / PCN (and new joiners) to experience.  

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