How to Communicate As a Manager

As a manager, communication is one of the most important aspects of your job. More than anything else, you need to make sure that you both understand and are being understood. But this isn’t always easy. Even if you consider yourself a good communicator, there’s a good chance you’re breaking some of the cardinal rules of management communication. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you communicate more effectively with your staff:

Girl listening with her hand on an ear

Listening is a skill.

Listen more than you speak — If you’re like most managers, you often neglect the listening part of communication. It’s only natural, but if you aren’t actively listening you’re only getting half the picture. Be mindful of this and really listen to what others are saying.

Be specific — This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s one of the most common communication mistakes managers make: they don’t provide specific and detailed instructions. When this happens, employees tend to get confused and do the wrong thing, costing you time and money.

Businessman Giving the Thumbs Down Sign

Staying Positive Will Get Better Results

Avoid negative language —This might seem like a minor thing to many people, but when managers use positive language they tend to get better results. This means focusing on what you want, not what you don’t want.

Give feedback — Rather than waiting for performance reviews or project wrap-ups, make it a habit to give your employees feedback on a regular basis. This will reinforce that they are following the right course of action, as well as head off problems.

Businessmen shaking hands

It’s who you know…

Build strong relationships — When you have a good relationship with your staff, they’ll feel more comfortable coming to you with problems and questions. Things as simple as asking them “How are you?” or casually chatting about non-work-related events can go a long way to creating stronger relationships and better overall communication.

Be accessible — This is a major reason why projects get off track: the manager simply isn’t around to answer questions as they arise. If you want to be sure that everything stays on track and that communication lines remain open, you need to be available to your team when they have questions.

Communication is vital in any endeavor. If you’re not accurately conveying information and instruction, your team will be confused on what exactly it is they should be doing. But by establishing clear, open channels of communication, you’re setting yourself and your employees up for increased success

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