Good Managers Are Great Communicators

a cartoon with all employees wearing baseball caps as a sports metaphor for Good Managers Are Great Communicators

Good Managers Are Great Communicators
Managers, listen up.  Good managers are great communicators.  A lot of what makes a good manager is the ability to communicate well.

Clarity, Relevance, and Purpose
The best managers know how to really listen and how to communicate with both power and empathy.  It’s not a matter of adhering to one method as in the cartoon above; but rather, good managers are great communicators because they communicate with clarity, relevance and purpose.  Do your managers have what it takes?

The Basics of Effective Communication as a Manager
Both written and verbal messages should adhere to the same basics.  They should have a purpose, consider the recipient(s)…their style and their situation, and have a desired outcome.  In effect, every communication should bring about some kind of desired change or action.

Manager Communications Should Matter
Be thoughtful of what you say to your team members.  Don’t waste their time (and yours) with meaningless chatter or emails.  Try to have each and every conversation, email, announcement, blog post or video be designed to motivate change or help employees do their job more effectively.

Manager Communications Are Challenging
While most managers agree that good communication is paramount to successfully leading their teams, a recent survey conducted by Harris Poll found:

  • 69% of managers are uncomfortable communicating with employees
  • 37% of managers are uncomfortable giving direct and constructive employee performance feedback

Four Essentials of Meaningful Messages To Help Managers be Great Communicators

To craft a message that has meaning and influence, managers must:

1. Articulate a Clear and Compelling Purpose
Know specifically what they want recipients to know or do as a result of the communication and why it is relevant.

2. Paint a Clear and Believable Picture
Envision clearly what, once achieved, the desired result will look like to those most affected.

3. Describe an Implementable and Actionable Plan
Understand exactly what it will take to shift from the existing situation to the desired goal in a way that makes sense for your unique situation and culture.

4. Define the Part You Want Everyone to Play
Describe the specific part they want each listener to play so that their goal, role, success metrics and contribution are clear, meaningful, and relevant to the overall purpose.

Clear Communication Is Easier than It Sounds
I know…you are wondering if, as a new or inexperienced manager, you’ll be able to communicate at all if you need to think about so much beforehand.  But it’s easier than it sounds.  Within every conversation or email, there is an opportunity to be a great communicator if you invest the time to do it right.  We know you are busy, but just think about all the wasted time that poor communication causes.

The Cost of Poor Communication
Companies and leaders with bad communication habits can create significant and unnecessary costs to their organizations.

  • David Grossman reported in “The Cost of Poor Communications” that a survey of 400 companies with 100,000 employees each cited an average loss per company of $62.4 million per year because of inadequate communication to and between employees.
  • Debra Hamilton asserted, in her article “Top Ten Email Blunders that Cost Companies Money,” that miscommunication costs even smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year.

The Bottom Line
Your communications as a manager matter to your team and your company.  Good managers are great communicators.  Be sure each communication thoughtfully moves you and your team forward in the right direction.

To learn more about improving communication skills as a manger, download 7 Tips To Increase Communication Through Engagement

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