Silence isn’t Golden in Teamwork – Speak Up for Effective Communication

Teamwork and effective communication in healthcare are joined at the hip. It’s almost impossible to have one without the other. Yet, many of us are completely blind to our own communication style, stifling us from connecting effectively with others.  

Mark Sanborn once said, “In teamwork, silence isn’t golden, it’s deadly.” His words ring true in every industry. But they’re especially true in healthcare. I can see a clear tie of open communication to quality and safety as well as job satisfaction.

Assessing Communication Styles

I was recently conducting a communication workshop for a group of healthcare leaders. These leaders were struggling with unhealthy communication patterns. During the workshop, we completed an assessment and individual communication profiles. Then, we came together to work on new skills for bridging gaps.

The Trap of Being Too Considerate

One of the key characteristics of this group was a considerate communication style. This led led to avoiding conflict. Although there seemed to be polite, open discussion, there was very little of the necessary “rumbling” as Brene Brown would say.

Staying silent can lead to resentment, anger, and erosion of teamwork.

Many healthcare workers fit the profile of considerate communicators. Being sensitive to others is a wonderful attribute, but it often comes paired with silence when your gut says to speak up. Staying silent can lead to resentment, anger, and erosion of teamwork. Most of the people in the workshop admitted that when they remain silent, they end up brooding. This robs them of sleep and impedes productivity. Their minds get stuck in a replay loop and self-deprecating thoughts like, “I should have said something,” or “No one listens to me anyway.”

Creating healthy, productive teams and thriving cultures requires effective communication. How well do you understand your communication style? How well can you read others’ styles? Knowing yourself and others’ communication styles will help you learn to flex your style so you will both understand and be understood.

Want to dig deeper into your team’s communication patterns? We can help. Contact us today at Our full-day workshop on effective communication is specifically designed for leaders to develop their team’s performance to its highest potential. 

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