Clear communication helps boost engagement and collaboration between team members.

Part of being an effective leader is embracing risk and helping your teams to do the same. In uncertain times, leaders are expected to make those around them feel more confident about the future and remove the negative influence of fear. This is accomplished through the availability of two-way channels of communication, which foster clarity around the challenges the organization is facing. 

To maximize the performance of their teams at times when productivity needs to remain high, a culture that embraces challenges needs to be instilled. Teams are more likely to respond positively to challenges when leadership is able to clearly communicate the issues the company is facing. When teams are left to wonder "what if" scenarios, fear and uncertainty can spread, decreasing productivity and even causing some team members to consider jumping ship.

Being upfront about the challenges the organization is facing grants teams an opportunity to collaborate efforts on addressing certain risk factors. When opportunities for conjecture are eliminated, you allow your teams to focus on the opportunities at hand. By gaining perspective on current risk factors from all levels of your organizations, you are more likely to be able to identify an effective and innovative new path forward.

As we enter the new year, leaders need to focus on breaking down barriers of communication and finding new channels for feedback from their teams. When leaders embrace change by communicating it with their teams, teams can follow suit and clarify the issues at hand. 

If you have found that your organization has an abundance of teams operating in silos, and is not prepared to respond effectively to market challenges, change management consulting can help you begin to embrace challenges in 2015.