Employees who have worked their way up in the ranks to a leadership position likely got there because they were smart, could learn quickly and were team players. Many of the skills needed to succeed in management are acquired during the climb, just in the daily workings of the company. But it is unlikely that many people in leadership were actually trained how to communicate as a manager. Clear messages and constructive feedback are not every leader’s strongest suit, so let’s take a look at some of the key features of effective communication in the workplace.
Clarity is the most important part of any type of communication, whether it is leading a meeting, giving a speech or talking to shareholders. Many employees complain that they cannot understand what their managers are saying because their messages are full of buzz words and acronyms. When practicing how to communicate as a manager, it is vital that leaders use as little jargon as possible or at least explain what the words mean at the beginning of the session. Effective communicators also think before they speak. A little calculation beforehand can keep managers on-message and result in a clear statement of expectations. They have to finish each thought before they move on to the next one, or they risk leaving their audience lost in the circles of thought. If everyone leaves a meeting looking dazed or confused, they will have a difficult time responding to the message they just heard.
Brevity is a virtue that successful communicators nurture. In order to keep statements short and keep a team engaged, a concise message is vital. Managers have to resist the urge to tell anecdotes or stories they feel are related but might not actually be helpful. By staying on topic and avoiding tangents, there is a higher likelihood that employees will understand and be ready to take action. If it helps, managers can also ask team members to give a brief recap of what they understand to be the key outcome of the discussion
Even when upset or frustrated, managers have to stay calm and positive. Studies show that negative messages have a quashing effect on how well communication is understood. People in leadership positions should not be condescending to their audiences or they risk listeners tuning them out completely. Calm messages with positive tones are key when learning how to communicate as a manager. The discussion should not be about criticizing others, even the competition, but about positive ways to move forward.
Managers who call meetings with their teams may be facing a problem, or they might just have information to share. Regardless which is the case, focusing on reaching goals ï not placing blame ï should be the objective of the message. Although examining what went wrong will surely have to be part of the discussion, it is not constructive to point fingers. The message should always be about presenting solutions in the future and creating actionable items to help the team avoid the same problems in the future. This can lead to a discussion about other possible snafus and how to prepare for them. Again, staying on-message is the best way to get through tough meetings.
Employees look to their leaders for intelligent solutions. When learning how to communicate as a manager, staff members need to have the base of knowledge required to be effective. A manager who tries to lead a team but doesn’t know what they are talking about will not get much buy-in from employees. Managers must learn before they plan and think before they speak. They must also listen carefully to comments from team members without interrupting or planning their response. By taking others’ comments into account, managers might even learn something new or be exposed to an issue they had not considered before. Few people are trained in best practices for how to communicate as a manager. An employee might have a wealth of knowledge, an eye for detail and all kinds of innovative ideas, but without effective communication skills, their valuable qualities might go unnoticed. By taking some time to master these five basic approaches to good communication, all managers can improve their leadership skills and build teams with better performance in the workplace. In addition to learning how to communicate as a manager, people in leadership positions can find out how to make fantastic hiring decisions and improve their companies using the resources at Mighty Recruiter as a guide.