Communication in the Workplace
It goes without saying that communication in the workplace is the cornerstone to success. Without it, we can’t set goals for the good of the business or make plans to collectively achieve them. Without strong communication skills, no one would be able to share their ideas or concerns. There would be no relationship building, no connections.
As a manager, your communication skills are even more critical to the team. You’re regarded as a leader—someone who guides your staff to meet objectives and targets. If your communication skills are lacking, how can you expect the people you supervise to know what you want from them?
Communication Skills Training
Communication isn’t just about talking. Certainly choosing the right words is important, but did you realize that listening is actually a key component of communication?
In our Effective Communication Skills workshops, we spend an entire day talking about the many ways people communicate and how you can combine all of those methods to be an overall better communicator. How much thought have you put into the expressions on your face when you talk, or the way you carry yourself when you give directions to your staff? These communication signals speak louder than the words coming out of your mouth.
Communication Skills for Managers
Being able to give direction and feedback in a positive, constructive way is only a fraction of the communication skills a good manager needs. Here are other communication skills that would serve you well:
Listening Skills: Barking orders and demanding action without allowing for any feedback is not only rude (and a great way to alienate your staff), it can be dangerous. Front-line workers are the ones who see first-hand what’s going on; they’re the ones who can tell you if the company’s practices actually work, so why wouldn’t you want to get their feedback? That information can be extremely valuable to move the company forward. A good manager listens first and talks second.
Positive body language: Have you ever worked under a manager who shuffled around with his shoulders slumped and you could just tell the job was sucking the life out of him? A manager who looks unmotivated will have unmotivated workers. And can you blame them? Would YOU want to work your way up the ladder knowing that’s the attitude you’d have when you got further up? Similarly, having body language that conveys confidence or friendliness (think warm smiles, friendly handshakes, or even a high five) communicates to your staff that you’re approachable.
Conflict Resolution Skills: As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, there will be members of your team who are going to clash. When it happens, you have to be fair and use finesse to calm the waters so the entire office and the project at hand don’t suffer. Once again, active listening skills come into play here. Good managers listen to all sides of the story objectively and then work with those involved to come up with a solution that’s appropriate and fair for everyone.
Empathy: Just because you’re the manager doesn’t mean you can’t be human. The people who work for you are just that—people. They have bad days, they make mistakes, and they all have lives outside of the office that sometimes require their attention during company time. You don’t have to stick your nose in your employees’ business, but create a work environment where they feel comfortable reaching out to you if they need to, and then communicate with empathy.
Communication Is Important
When communication skills at the office are lacking, poor productivity and unmotivated employees are sure to follow. How do your communication skills measure up? Tell us your thoughts on the importance communication skills in the workplace in the Comments section. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ where we are always posting great tips and advice to improve your presentation skills.
Something I learned working up through my company is that you need to have a backbone to manage. You need to also have a heart for the appropriate times. I am glad to see you touched on empathy. With great power, comes great responsibility after all. Communication makes or breaks a team so it has to be priority.
There are a lot of managers out there who don’t communicate their thoughts and ideas to their staff well. This is a great post on why it’s so important to a team for their leader to be able to share their ideas clearly.
Listening skills, yes! Managers never listen!
If only my manager had read this…
Good communication is everything. Most people don’t really even think about it because we do it all the time. The ones that do are the ones who rise to the top in their organization.
It’s amazing how many people get to high management levels without some of these basic skills. Especially listening skills — dealing with people means listening, truly listening, and trying to understand their perspective.
A great read for anyone looking to move up in their career.
I wish more managers would read this.
More managers need to see this.