Bridging the Gap How to Improve Performance

Communication is the key to unlocking improved team performance.


Tonia Toon

2 years ago | 2 min read

One important ingredient for success is missing in most organizations It’s the same key component absent from almost all of our relationships, personal and professional.  

Communication. Rarely, if ever do we invest the time to thoughtfully communicate with others. When someone else is talking, we formulate a response before they finish speaking. Working together in teams can be complicated, and fraught with challenges and disagreement. In this space, you must listen to understand. Instead of listening to respond.

Thoughtful communication goes so much deeper than simply being attentive and courteous. Understanding someone involves quieting your thoughts. Nearly all of us have trouble silencing our thoughts. We are constantly thinking. It is a pervasive affliction. How can we expect to hear what someone else is saying if we are talking simultaneously? Even if the talking is in our head, in the form of our thoughts. It is distracting. This is the primary reason thoughtful, effective communication is difficult.  

Secondarily, when we are in a challenging situation, we might disagree with what the other person is saying. This not only speeds up the thoughts in our minds but also has the potential to affect us at an emotional level. It is tough to listen when we disagree with what is being said.  

Listening to understand takes self-discipline, practice, and continuous effort.

Start practicing before you are in a tough situation.  

  • At least once per day work on becoming aware of your thoughts. Listen to yourself think. Witness your thoughts without judgment. This practice will help you be less critical of others.  
  • Begin approaching contrast with curiosity. When someone disagrees with you, halt your judgment and, swap it for inquisitiveness.  
  • Be aware of your mindset, whatever picture someone is trying to paint, you will view it through your frame.         

The payoff is big. You’ll be rewarded with influence. Your advantage comes through understanding. A great deal of satisfaction comes from feeling understood. When others feel understood they will be more willing to work with you. Moreover, with your understanding of what is needed, you can begin to take effective action to overcome challenges. In these ways, communication is the key to unlocking better-performing teams and building more successful organizations.


Created by

Tonia Toon

I am passionate about advocating for the development of others.







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