Managers need the right communication skills to be able to run their departments effectively. Managers are tasked to implement the company’s corporate strategy and for them to do this effectively, they will have to connect with the staff by inspiring them, encouraging them, and addressing their concerns.
Unfortunately, some managers have poor interpersonal communication skills and this diminished their effectiveness as departmental heads. With a communication breakdown, it is difficult to implement the corporate strategy and this negatively affects the company’s performance. This article looks at ways managers can improve their interpersonal communications skills so as to make them better managers at the workplace.
As a manager, you could be leading a team with members from different generations and if this is the case, you need to find effective ways to communicate with the different members of the staff. Generation Z workers, for example, prefer frequent but informal feedback while the boomers may prefer email communication and formal in-person meetings. Effective leaders understand the diverse communication needs of the staff and are able to tailor their messages accordingly. This will ensure proper message delivery for enhanced managerial effectiveness.
Non-verbal cues help in message delivery and managers at the workplace can use them to enhance communication with their staff. The psychologist in clinics and expert on communication Dylan Menders says that experts are of the opinion that people communicate more effectively when they use proper body language, such as emphatic gestures and eye contact. We all did that since birth, to make the mother pay attention to our needs. And it is the time to use it for the better. Such gestures show that one is interested in the conversation that is going on and this will make it easy for managers and the staff to share ideas and exchange views. Communication barriers are broken down when people use non-verbal cues properly and this makes it easy for managers to gather vital Intel about the working conditions at the company. Other non-verbal cues include getting close to the person(s) you are talking to and the use of gestures to emphasize an issue.
Being assertive does not mean that you communicate with aggression. It simply means communicating with confidence and delivering your message in an honest and sincere manner. If as a manager you are not confident in what you are saying, it will be difficult for your juniors to believe in you and your effectiveness as a manager will decline as a result. It is for this reason why managers ought to be assertive with their communication with junior staff and in any department communication. Get straight to the message that you are trying to convey without tiptoeing around the issue. Avoid loose talk and other conversational fluff that are likely to dilute the message that you are trying to pass across.
Listening is another effective interpersonal skill that makes managers good at their job. For workers to give their all in their jobs, they need to know that their concerns will be taken care off and it is only by listening closely that managers will be able to understand these concerns. Most managers, however, believe that they should be doing all the taking as the staff listens but to effectively run a team, managers need to listen just as much as they instruct. Proper listening requires that you pay full attention when the workers are talking to you. You could have an answer to their concerns right away but you should let them finish talking before you chip in with your thoughts.
To communicate effectively with their staff, managers should create an environment where others can express themselves freely. If this is the case, managers to should learn to let the workers finish what they are saying when given the chance to talk. Do not interrupt them when they are talking as this is a sign of disrespect and they may shy away from sharing their concerns in the future. Interruption also hampers one’s thought process and that is why managers need to let their staff share their views without being interrupted. Workers feel respected and valued when their bosses let them speak freely without interruption and this will greatly improve the work environment.
Words are very powerful and as such, managers need to measure their words carefully when talking to other members of staff. Hurtful comments directed at members of staff can negatively affect their work productively and this is something managers should try and avoid. To get the most from the employees, managers should prioritize encouraging and motivating comments even when the workers are in the wrong. It is the role of the managers to build up the employees and encouraging comments is the way to go if you want to effectively run your department.
Poor communication has been highlighted as one of the factors that contribute to managerial ineffectiveness at the workplace. Managers, therefore, need to improve their interpersonal communication skills when talking to their staff or communicating with their boss and useful tips in that regard.