How Managers Can Be Communicators Par-excellence
“Communication can’t always follow the top-down model. With the fluidity of information in business today, leaders need to be masterful listeners; they need to be able to receive as well as send.” — Joseph Badaracco
Communication is the center of every successful business. As a manager, it is quintessential that your team communicates effectively and every member is on the same page.
Studies show that 69% of managers are uncomfortable when communicating with their employees, with 16% preferring email to face-to-face interactions.
Here’s another eye-opener — The survey from DDI’s Frontline Leader Project shows that 57% of employees have left a job because of their manager. 14% have left multiple positions because of their managers, and 32% have seriously considered quitting.
Considering that an increasing number of organizations are implementing remote work, these statistics are shocking indeed.
Needless to say that remote work calls for more stress on communication amongst team members as face-to-face interactions take a back seat. Managers need to consistently communicate with their team members to ensure the timely exchange of information.
The question that arises is why many managers (69%) continue to struggle with seamless communication with their team members?
There could be many reasons for this, like
- Poor soft skills
- Not using the right communication tools
- Being inaccessible to employees
- Being overly involved in employees’ jobs
- Exhibiting pessimistic leadership
- Passive-aggressive communication
Sorry Managers, You can’t go on like this……
All these years that I’ve been working as a Marketing Manager with ProofHub, I’ve realized that employees need to feel trusted and confident to render their best services to the organization.
From day one, I’ve made sure to communicate my message to the team on time, using the suitable communication mode. Also, I honed my active listening skills, which made me understand my team members’ perspectives better.
As a manager, if you’re struggling to achieve seamless communication with your, you’ve got to pull your socks up without further delay. There are good chances that your lack of communication skills is severely impacting your organization’s bottom line and your employees’ morale.
Don’t know where to start and how to begin? Don’t worry. We have your back!
Read on to know how to be a master communicator at work without working too hard
Five Tips For Managers To Be a Master Communicator
That’s why this article is penned down. I always believe that we should be more than willing to share our experiences and knowledge with others. You never know how your seemingly simple tip can drastically change others’ lives around.
If you’re reading this post today then it’s because I made efforts to communicate with you.
It’s not that I started my career as a communication ace. I was far from it. However, I worked on sharpening my communication skills because I couldn’t hope to be a good leader if I am not good at converting or receiving the right information at the right time.
I’ve put together some tips that benefitted me a lot in understanding my employees’ expectations from me and leading the team better.
Check them out.
- Work on your interpersonal skills
You’re a team manager, and you spend most of your work time talking, listening, and sharing information with people. Are you too busy just passing on the news, instructing do’s and don’ts to your team? Do you pay attention to what your employees want to say, and if you listen to them, do you care to grasp their message or forget it after a while?
Being an active listener is one of the most crucial skills you need in these times of remote work. Communication is not a one-way street. Want to know what makes for a good listener? Given below are some attributes of a good listener.
- Listen attentively and open-mindedly.
- Keep positive body language during conversations to show they are genuinely interested in hearing what other people have to say
- Hold one-on-one conversations regularly with team members.
- Don’t interrupt others when they are speaking.
- Respond to questions and queries thoughtfully.
So, do you show all of these signs of a good listener? If not then it’s time you show your team that their opinion, thoughts, ideas, matter to you and the organization.
2. Deliver information timely
A timely flow of information within the team is necessary to ensure that all employees stay updated on recent project activities. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help your team stay in the loop. How can you do this? You cannot always convey formal communication orally to all your team members. Covid-19 has changed internal communications, and using different modes of communication has become quintessential as people work from other geographical locations.
Using powerful team collaboration and project management software with inbuilt communication tools, like Group chat, Discussions, Real-time notifications, @Mentions, etc., can help managers deliver information to individuals or groups through different modes. For example, they use Instant chat to send a quick message, create Discussion topics, subscribe to them, and use Announcements to convey information across the team.
3. Encourage feedback
One of the most effective ways to improve your listening skills is by encouraging your employees to submit feedback. You should make it clear to your team that their voices would be heard and acted upon (if required). Managers can collect feedback through employee engagement surveys, pulse surveys, stay interviews, anonymous suggestion boxes, review sites, etc.
During team meetings, encourage your team to disagree with you on some points, too. Acknowledge their opinions and practice constructive criticism while giving employee performance feedback. Tell them about areas where they have done well and where there’s a scope for improvement. Appreciating individuals in front of the entire team works wonders for boosting their morale and self-confidence.
4. Act on your word
Leaders are supposed to walk the talk. As important as it is for managers to listen to employees actively, it’s equally crucial for you to act on what you’ve promised. It’s essential to back up open and honest communication with complementary actions. If you’ve pledged to your team the implementation of employee recognition awards, then do it. If you’ve made a plan to organize sessions on improving employees’ mental and physical well-being, then go ahead with it.
Now, it’s not that you have to implement every suggestion or idea of your team members. You should carefully analyze all the feedback you receive and then consider those inputs that you think can help your team and the entire organization to be more effective. Once you’ve made up your mind about implementing specific ideas, make sure you act on them at the right time.
5. Analyze your communication efforts
Managers can analyze some things to know whether or not their communication strategy is working or not. For example, during group meetings or team discussions, you can encourage your team members to develop their ideas and opinions. If there’s a strong response from most (if not all) members, it means that team engagement is high. On the other hand, if there is a lukewarm response, it probably indicates low engagement.
If your employees are more forthcoming with their views and enjoy a good bond with each other, it’s a clear sign of transparent communication. It would be best if you also watched out for the response time of your team members when you send an email or message soliciting a quick reply. Do they reply on time or respond late? Observe little things closely, and you will be in a position to gauge the results of your communication efforts.
The Final Word
When it comes to a professional workspace, the bigger the role, the more responsibilities you have. Being a manager in a dynamic, demanding environment is not easy these days. Whether working remotely or in-office, you have to keep your whole team together for improved coordination.
This can only be achieved when you use your communication skills to unify the whole team and add transparency and clarity to the work process. You can follow these tips to hone your communication skills to ensure there’s no place for misunderstandings, confusion, procrastination, and confusion regarding informational exchange within your team.
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