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Chapter 2. The Barriers to Team Success > Poor Communications - Pg. 18

The Barriers to Team Success 18 Team Terms Under both federal and state wage and hour laws, an Exempt employee is one who is engaged in management, administration, professional work, or other work that requires "independent judgment." All others are non- exempt. Nonexempt employees must be paid at the rate of time and a half for all work done in excess of 40 hours in a week. Exempt employees can be required to work overtime at no extra compensation. Team leaders and their bosses have to build time for training into the regular work schedules. One way is to schedule the training to be done after regular work hours. This is often resisted by com- panies because it is costly when training nonexempt workers who must be paid overtime. Many people, whether they do or do not receive overtime pay, resent being asked to give up personal time for training that many feel they will rarely use. Poor Communications You've heard it over and over again. The reason (or maybe an excuse for a failure) is a breakdown in communications. You say one thing and your associate hears something quite different. Why? It could be how you said it, or how the associate received it. Trite as it may sound, poor communica- tions is a major barrier to the success of team efforts. "What did he say?" You thought your instructions were clearly stated. But the minute you leave the room, your associate turns to another team member for clarification. You didn't get through. Why? Maybe it was your fault. Perhaps you spoke indistinctly. Perhaps you used language that was not familiar to the listener. Perhaps your body language sent a different message from your words. Maybe the problem emanated from the associate. He didn't fully listen. She didn't take you seriously. Whether you are the team leader or a team member expressing your views, you have to be alert to how you come across to others. Get feedback from your associates. Ask them for critiques on your presentations at meetings or just in team discussions. If you are making a planned presentation, rehearse it in front of a mirror or videotape it. You can find many more ideas on improving commu- nication skills in Chapter 4. The Leader Who Doesn't Listen Successful team leaders make it a point to listen to their members. Unless you keep your ears and your mind open, not only will you not benefit from the many ideas your team members can contribute, you will miss cues of team discontent or impending problems.