45% is unsatisfied

(Source: Ruysdael research on connected leadership)

We give the same meaning to important common information and facts

Teams seem to struggle with the quality of communication. Reseach shows that 45% of the team member have difficulty in establishing a common frame of reference for the project or group. It explains why many teams lack group focus and a coherent overview of deliverables.


Interpersonal communication is the most important success factor for any group of people. When the quality is high it creates a common and practical frame of reference for the task at hand. When the quality is poor the chance of rework and frustration increases.

The success strategy: Be fit and tune in. We connect to each other and include mutual thoughts and feelings into new information and meaning. We can discuss this factor using the following success markers:

  • Openness
  • Empathy
  • Mutual understanding
  • Practical translation
  • Shared meaning


Individual improvement

Our own worldview sometimes blocks new information and limits the chance of establishing a shared meaning. Try to experiment with the following assumptions:

  • I know nothing, this is completely new to me;
  • Everybody has a unique map of the world and words to express it;
  • Different words might express the same meaning.

Team improvement

  • List important key-words that are used during meetings
  • Ask team members to clarify these keywords and find synonyms in thier own field of expertise
  • Summarize the shared meaning of a keyword: “so.. what we mean with x is…”.

Other interventions

  • First improve success markers that are a prerequisite for shared meaning: opennes, empathy and mutual understanding;
  • Use the same key-words in plans, reporting and interpersonal communication;
  • Visualize key-words in infographics, pictures and schematics.