by Rollin Glaser and Eileen Russo

TeamShare provides an opportunity for teams to explore how open they are in their communication patterns. It provides a structured experience in which teams can gradually gain experience in opening up, and giving and receiving feedback.

TeamShare was designed to help team members who are having difficulty in being open within the team. The instrument begins with a self-analysis, moves to a partner analysis, and then finally to a full team discussion. The exercise is structured in this manner to allow participants to gain experience in the feedback process in a non threatening manner. The exercise includes discussion questions and action planning so that team members can continue to increase the openness of their team communication. TeamShare introduces team members to effective feedback processes and gives them the tools they need to continue improving the process.

A Model of Team Communication

TeamShare applies the Johari Window theory of interpersonal communication to team communication patterns. This theory, developed by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham (Luft, 1969), describes how individuals give and receive information about themselves and others. In an ideal communication situation, the words, ideas, and feelings of the sender of the communication would have the same meaning to every receiver of that communication. 

Unfortunately, as Luft and Ingham realized, in any interaction there is information that is known to some individuals and unknown to others. The Johari Window examines the interchange of information by presenting four modes of information sharing based on what information is known or unknown to the self and to the other parties to that communication. 

When to use TeamShare

TeamShare is beneficial for teams that are having difficulty sharing information. In the TeamShare experience, teams are provided with a vehicle for helping team members gain an increased feeling of trust and begin to engage in fruitful dialogue about the team's patterns of communication. Teams that tend to be closed and hold back in team discussions can use TeamShare to engage in a non threatening examination of the openness of the team's communication. Team members will also gain experience in giving and receiving feedback.