Effective leadership starts with effective communication. However, with so many communication channels in use throughout the workday, managers need to hone their communication skills and prioritise the correct channels to ensure the liens of communication are open and effective.
Whether you’re speaking with an employee in person, writing an email, connecting via a video call, or sending a chat message, verbal and non-verbal communication abilities are some of the most important soft skills a manager should develop and master.
Practice Active Listening
Many people think about communication in terms of speaking. But listening is just as, if not more, important than your actual words. Your employees need to know you’re hearing them when they voice concerns or problems within the work environment. Your team members will also feel more comfortable speaking openly and honestly when they know you’re paying attention.
To create a positive working environment where everyone’s voice holds value, do not multitask when someone is talking to you. Be sure to give the speaker your full attention, and don’t interrupt until they’ve finished their thoughts. A key component of active listening is paraphrasing what you’ve heard to ensure you’ve understood it correctly. If there’s a breakdown in communication, ask the speaker for clarification.
Another communication skill every manager should master is transparency. When you share information in a timely manner and are clear about expectations, employees can openly communicate. As a manager, you also need to be truthful when answering employees’ questions.
In terms of transparency when delegating tasks, you should strive to provide as much background information and detail as possible. When employees understand the “why” behind their assignments, they’re more likely to be motivated and productive team members.
Candor is the act of being honest, open, and transparent with our leaders and colleagues. As a manager, you will benefit from creating a space where your team members can reveal their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgment or retaliation. This type of environment promotes psychological safety where team member feel it is safe to speak their minds and take risks. If you want to lead a team that’s innovative and productive, don’t underestimate the power of candid communication!
If you find yourself frequently managing interpersonal conflicts and misunderstandings, work on improving your candor in the workplace. Once you master open, honest communication, your professional relationships inside and outside your team will become stronger.
Solid communication skills for managers take time to develop, but they’re essential to the growth of your team and the company. Great leaders understand that they can’t accomplish truly important things without genuine relationships, trust, and support from their entire teams.