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Teamwork communication

Teamwork is a learned skill that we can keep improving

Jana Anders on Active Listening

According to Atlassian’s teamwork research

“Teamwork has never been more important than it is today. Did you know that 90% of companies report they are working on projects so complex that only teams of people working together will be able to solve them? The days of the lone genius are long gone, now productivity and innovation lie in the hands of skilled teams that can effectively collaborate to create the future.”

The reality of teams is that our focus on the goal of a project often overshadows the importance of treating each other well. The risk, especially in complex, remote teams, is that we lose touch of the interpersonal dynamics of human collaboration. As a result, many companies struggle with common organizational challenges like personality conflict, passive aggressive behavior, and people’s feelings getting hurt.

If team members don’t speak up in meetings because they fear embarrassment, the team is essentially dysfunctional.

BigTalker recently hosted a “How to build collaboration skills” session with executive coach Jana Anders. The goal of the session was to teach attendees actionable interpersonal skills they can use to become MVP teammates.

The premise of the session is that they key to successful teamwork, according to the Google Aristotle project, is to build a culture of psychological safety. Psychological safety is defined as a combination of social sensitivity and democratic turn taking.

The lessons of the workshop help build trust and respect among teammates. The key is be fully present, use active listening skills, and insightfully contribute in support of progress of the team. The lesson is that speaking up is taking a risk, but it is expected in teams where psychological safety is the norm. Speaking up can be a form of healthy conflict, and it adds value when it is constructive and supportive.

Feedback on the session

Likely to recommend? 9.0 / 10

What did you enjoy most about the session?

Active listening

The hands-on part

The presenters were AMAZING and the discussion was well paced. The topic also really resonated with me…especially the “presence” part! I had heard of active listening before, but never about presence.

Learning about active listening

Active / role play sessions

The clarity and simplicity

How to give feedback and being present

The workshop sessions and talking to different people

Exercises following with group share

Good presenters who knew their material, good pace and tone.

Practice sessions

Any other comments about the session?

Loved it!

Great teachers!

I look forward to the next workshop

Good session.

What is your biggest takeaway? What actions will you take?

I will ask more open ended questions

I will definitely be practicing presence more in my daily life. That is something that is often missing with human connection…feeling like we have somewhere more important to be as have something more important to do, but being present we can enjoy the life in front of us so much better.

Active listening — don’t give advice or talk about yourself right away. Put if back in their court.

Ask more questions, don’t jump to conclusions. Stop using “why”

Be more conscious of the nature of questions.

Practicing active listening and give constructive feedback (take risks)

You can ask questions while you are actively listening to help you engage with the speaker. I will ask more questions so I can have better conversations with people. :)

Gained valuable skills and was able to practice them. Gave some insights on how to be a better co-worker.

Active listening.



BigTalker helps companies support their employees with leadership and collaboration skill building programs. Professional development sessions include emotional intelligence, communication skills, storytelling, mindfulness and improv theory.

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