How to Communicate Better as a People Manager

How to Communicate Better as a People Manager
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How to Communicate Better as a People Manager
High performing leaders keenly understand the consequences of taking a lax approach to communication.  If information does not flow effectively throughout an organization, it is hard to get work done in a way that makes sense.  In fact, our organizational alignment research found that timely information flow and transparency of communication have the fourth highest correlation to higher performance.

  • 81% of respondents who reported a high level of alignment agreed or strongly agreed that information flow was timely.
  • Conversely, only 6% of companies who reported a low level of alignment agreed that information flow was timely. 
  • And, whereas 53% of respondents from poorly aligned companies did not know their company’s key financial metrics, only 26% of high alignment companies did not know.

Leaders who effectively manage the flow of information put a premium on ensuring that people in their organization talk WITH each other.  They do this by adopting communication methods that enable them to have an open, frequent, and candid two-way dialogue with their people.  They model the way by proactively discussing market realities, sharing company strategies, and actively involving employees in the pursuit of team goals.

The Benefits of Good Communication
Effective communication is the process of creating and sharing information, ideas, perspectives, and feelings to reach a common understanding and it is vital to the success of both personal and professional relationships. In fact, LinkedIn research reports that communication tops the list of employers “Ten Most In-Demand Soft Skills.”

A Communication Skills Refresher
The goals of communicating effectively in the workplace are to achieve healthier relationships and make better business decisions. No one is in a better position to model and foster good communication than a manager who must connect with their team members, peers, and superiors – up, down, and sideways.

Communication Tips
Here are three tips on how you can communicate better as a new manager from our new manager training program:

  • Listen Better
    Remember that communicating works in two directions. Listening well is as important as conveying your thoughts well. The key is to listen actively.

    That means that you focus on the speaker, don’t interrupt, and ensure you have fully absorbed the meaning of their words by checking your understanding and asking relevant follow-up questions.
  • Assume Less
    A typical communication breakdown occurs when you assume that your listeners have the same context and information you do. It’s important to set the stage for your message completely. You need to fill listeners in on critical background and not skip to the final scene.

    Unless you frame your thoughts adequately, your message may not be received clearly. Provide the information needed for context and check to see that your thought has been thoroughly understood.
  • Focus as Much on Tone as on Substance
    The way you say something, both verbally and in writing, can have as much impact as what you say. Your chatty, informal emails to friends and peers might not be well received by your boss. Be thoughtful of your tone of voice in speech as well as your word choice and formatting in written communications.

The Bottom Line
Whether you manage a small team or a large team, how you communicate matters – especially when the stakes are high.  Are your managers adopting the communication best practices required to ensure the timely and transparent flow of information required to create higher performance and engagement?

To learn more about how to communicate better as a people manager, download 7 Proven Tips to Increase Employee Engagement through Communication

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