Managers can spend up to 75 percent of their time communicating with their staff.  It is essential that the verbal, vocal, and visual components of their communication deliver a consistent message.  Positive relationships with clear communication are based on trust.  Effective communication skills are critical for managers who want to improve employee productivity, performance, teamwork, and morale.  Every interaction with an employee is an opportunity to make a positive impact on both a personal and professional level.

How you communicate isn’t about your vocabulary usage or your meaning. Communication is how you come across to the other person.  It’s how you relay your message so that it is clearly and easily understood.

Decide the best way to communicate your message.  If you use email it should be for something simple.  If you need to give a more detailed explanation you might want to speak in person or on the phone.  There are many factors to help you decide the method of communication.  It can depend on how sensitive the information is, whether you need to explain details, how the receiver wants to get the message, time constraints and if your message will bring up more questions.

Effective communication skills are important for managers to be successful at:

Providing Employee Feedback/Performance Management

Managers are responsible for providing their employees with constructive feedback regarding their job performance and behavior.  Good communication skills are so vital because the way a manager interacts with employees affects how well they receive feedback.  The way managers say something is often just as important as what they say.

Effective managers show genuine interest in the ideas and opinions of their employees.  Managers must come across as approachable to employees for feedback and requests for coaching.

Managers who maintain candid and open communication lines with employees can establish a two-way dialogue that is crucial for performance appraisals to be meaningful and effective.

Team Building

Managers who build cohesive work teams leverage their communication skills to define employee roles, set rules and expectations, obtain team commitment to goals, empower employees to make their own decisions, encourage employee feedback, and ultimately enhance team unity, productivity, and morale.

Interdepartmental Relationships

In addition to communicating with their employees, managers must also demonstrate finesse when exchanging information and ideas with other departments.  Effective interdepartmental communication helps build trust and alliances so that all areas of a company can work together towards a common goal.

Resolving Conflict

Resolving workplace conflict requires effective communication skills, and in particular, the ability to listen.  Employees who complain to their managers about workplace issues have the reasonable expectation that the manager will provide support and guidance.  Listening well enables managers to communicate with employees who are experiencing workplace problems.  Managers who listen give employees a sense of appreciation for leadership.  When managers listen, it lets their employees know that their opinions are valuable, and it enables them to freely discuss problems.  Good communication skills help managers keep a pulse on the morale of their team so they can spot conflicts before they get out of hand and resolve them quickly and fairly as they arise.  Employees who believe that they are valued team members are better able to discuss problems that impact their performance.

Project a Professional Image

Good communication skills contribute to the manager’s ability to project a professional image.  Making eye contact and articulating messages clearly not only aids in message delivery, but also shows confidence.  Managers who solve problems with clarity are extremely effective.  Effective managers empower others to make suggestions and recommendations.  They are masters at conflict management and are eloquent in addressing problems and getting others involved to find immediate resolution.

Being specific:

Learn to communicate with clarity. Simple and concise is always better than complicated and confusing. Time has never been a more precious commodity than it is today. It is critical that managers learn how to cut to the chase and hit the high points.  It’s also important to expect the same from others. Understand the value of brevity and clarity.  If not, people will tune you out.   Weed out the superfluous and make your words count.

Setting A Good Example

Managers should realize employees will look to them as a model of how they should behave under certain circumstances. Employees tend to emulate how they see managers acting and communicating. If employees see a manager using an active listening style and empathetic tone with customers, they are more likely to do the same. When managers are open to the ideas of others and praise often, employees will tend to follow suit. When speaking, managers should consider whether they would want their employees to speak in the same way to the same audience. If not, the manager should adjust his/her communication style.