Management is a process. A manager’s job is to get results by implementing strategies that benefit all stakeholders. They must understand how people work and what motivates them to work effectively. The manager who understands the process will make better decisions and have more control over it than his less knowledgeable counterpart. This article deals with the role of effective communication in managerial positions.
Managers are responsible for making important decisions daily. They are expected to know their employees well enough to predict how they will react under various conditions. Therefore, they need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and how best to use them in achieving the organization’s goals. The most valuable asset to any manager is a motivated team performing at peak efficiency.
Effective communication is possible only when there is mutual understanding. Mutual understanding is achieved through listening skills. A good listener knows how to listen attentively and understand the speaker’s point of view. That means separating relevant information from irrelevant material. An excellent listener is sensitive and intuitive to the speaker’s mood and tone. There may be disagreements with the speaker, but an active listener makes an effort to understand the speaker’s viewpoint.
Here’s How You Can Improve Your Communication Skills as a Manager
- Practice Active Listening
When listening to someone, try to listen actively by showing empathy and seeing their point of view. Do not just wait for your turn to talk. Active listening involves following the speaker’s train of thought, asking questions to draw out additional points, and expressing appreciation for the speaker’s ideas.
Listening is vital to communication because it enables the speaker to clarify his thoughts and express himself more clearly. It also helps the listener develop empathy for the speaker.
- Be Clear About What You Want to Say
To communicate effectively, you must first be clear about what you want to convey. In business situations, clarity is essential. When you speak to others, take some time to articulate what to say and whether it’s comprehensible. For example, if you tell a subordinate to do something, state the task in simple terms. If you explain your decision to an employee, elaborate on why you are doing it.
Try to keep your communication comprehensible so you don’t leave the audience ambiguous and assume they know what you meant.
- Use Nonverbal Cues to Reinforce your Message
People often misunderstand the meaning of words. Even though they may know what was said, they cannot recall the exact wording of the message. As a result, they end up misinterpreting the intent of the message. To avoid this problem, use body language to reinforce your verbal message.
Using hand gestures and positive body language such as nodding your head, leaning forward, and smiling helps listeners actively listen to you. Similarly, be careful of your facial expressions when communicating, as a contradiction in your expression and what you’re delivering can be the core of losing your audience’s attention.
- Avoid Using Jargons
Jargon refers to using technical or specialized terminology to obscure rather than explain. Managers often use jargon to make themselves appear more intelligent and sophisticated. However, using jargon reduces the effectiveness of communication. Technical terms may often be unfamiliar, and you could lose your audience’s attention completely. As a result, they cannot grasp the true meaning of what is being said.
Instead, they interpret the words in light of their own experience. If you use jargon, try to explain its meaning to those communicating with you.
- Use Concrete Examples
Concrete examples make it easier for listeners to understand abstract concepts. For example, if you explain the idea of profit-sharing to your subordinates, you should give them an example of how profit-sharing works in practice. If you don’t, they will think that profit sharing is a pie-in-the-sky idea that never comes to fruition.
In addition, using examples makes it easier for your listeners to visualize what you are trying to describe.
How Can Good Communication Skills Help You Build A Solid Relationship With Your Subordinates
- Build Trust
Good communication skills enable you to build a trusting relationship with your subordinates. Trust is the willingness of one party to place confidence in another party. It is based on respect, honesty, and faith. A good manager builds trust by delegating and empowering the team and recognizing their achievements and contributions in completing the organization’s goals.
- Facilitate Open Discussions
To create an atmosphere of openness and frankness, encourage your employees to air their grievances and discuss problems openly. You demonstrate that you value their opinions and want to hear their ideas by encouraging them. It will go a long way in strengthening their bond with you.
- Build Connections
Consider your team as a network that will back you up if you motivate them enough. Hence, showing genuine interest in your team’s lives outside the workplace can reflect on you positively. You can show interest in their hobbies, social activities, and background and build a rapport with them. You’ll have to take time to know your team’s strengths and weaknesses and counsel them within the scope of your responsibility.
- Listen to Their Ideas
As a manager, you’ll find being open to new ideas could help you adapt and find newer angles to solve problems. For instance, if your team is young, you could ask them some nifty tricks and shortcuts. They’ll also be more aware of trends, and you could ask them about what’s trending in fashion, tech, or celebrity life. Rejecting suggestions can alienate you from your employees. You could also open yourself to constructive criticism by asking them feedback about your managerial style to prevent this.
- Give Praise
Expressing gratitude for the hard work of your subordinates goes a long way in building loyalty. Praising them demonstrates your belief in their abilities and encourages them to perform even better. You can reward them with bonuses and promotions.
- Encourage Mutual Respect
Respect is earned when both parties believe in each other’s integrity. To earn mutual respect, you must treat your employees with dignity and respect. Demonstrate your respect for their talents and contributions.
- Express Appreciation Openly
You can make a big difference by acknowledging the efforts of your subordinates. If you praise them publicly, you show them that you appreciate their contributions and encourage them to continue working hard.
- Create an Environment That Promotes Teamwork
The best teams are made up of individuals who trust each other and work together as a cohesive unit. The manager who builds such a team is the one who gets the job done. Managers who foster teamwork within their departments will find it easier to achieve their goals.
- Provide Opportunities For Growth
By allowing your employees to grow personally and professionally, you show that you trust them. You can provide opportunities for growth by offering training programs, promoting lateral transfers, and giving them chances to advance within the organization.
- Set Expectations
Set realistic expectations for your employees. If you expect them to complete tasks quickly, tell them when they will be completed. Also, set deadlines and communicate the consequences of failing to meet them.
Good communication skills are essential for any manager, so much so that some managers even explain how miscommunication leads to a major loss. You can improve your leadership abilities, take courses on communication, build and nurture strong relationships with your team.