5 Ways New Managers Can Communicate Better With Their Team

a cartoon of bears in the woods trying as new managers to communicate better

New Managers Can Communicate Better With Their Team and Get Better Results
New managers have a special responsibility to communicate with their teams clearly, openly, fairly, and consistently. According to new manager training experts, effective communication is the key to working smoothly with others.

But many managers are still stuck “in the woods” as far as their communication skills are concerned…

New Manager Communication Challenges
One of the problems, especially for remote team managers who rely a great deal on email or voicemail to connect with their team members, is the speed with which messages are recorded or composed and sent.

How often have you wished you could retract an email or erase a voice mail that contained a poorly interpreted spell check mistake or, worse, words that convey misplaced anger or frustration? We’ve all had that sinking feeling of “Oops…that’s not what I meant to say!”

5 Ways New Managers Can Communicate Better With Their Team
Here are some communication tips on how supervisors can avoid sending embarrassing or relationship-destroying messages to their teams:

  1. Have a clear subject and goal
    Know what you want to say and what you hope to accomplish through your communication. Do you intend to convey a call to action; deliver information or instructions; ask a question; or simply reconnect? Make sure your objective is clear from the start and that you stay on subject.
  2. Take it slow
    Don’t sacrifice clarity for speed. You may need to set the context before launching into the point you want to make. Better to communicate well the first time rather than need multiple follow-ups to explain what you meant to say originally.
  3. Consider the recipient
    Think carefully how your message could be understood by the receiver. With no clues from body language or verbal tone, written communication often is misconstrued. What comes in black and white doesn’t begin to convey intention. If you have negative feedback to give, better to communicate in person or on the phone. That way you can have a better sense of how the recipient is reacting and be more certain that your message is being received appropriately.
  4. Review for clarity and tone.
    When a more general message is being sent to the team, make sure it is simply stated and easy to read. The language should not obscure. If in an email, use bullets rather than long paragraphs. See if, upon re-reading, you think you have made your points succinctly. Trim both written and verbal communications back…fewer words will carry your point home more forcefully than lots of words with unnecessary adjectives or phrases. And then be sure that the tone is professional. Communications should not be delivered in anger or in haste.
  5. Invite questions
    End with an invitation to ask any questions so that misunderstandings can be quickly resolved.

The Bottom Line
With a little more thoughtful planning of what you want to say and how you say it, you can avoid communications that confuse your team members or cause unnecessary damage to the all-important relationships you are trying to build with them.

If you want to learn more about better communication techniques, download Effective Communication Skills – The Essential Ingredient in Any Interaction

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