As a manager there will be situations in which you will have to communicate a new policy or process, understand issues that are impacting on the delivery of results or poor performance, present a report or business case to secure additional resources and so on. Good communication skills can help you to keep your business on track.
When communicating something new, it is easy for things to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Avoid misunderstanding by making sure that when you are briefing, you state what is required, check the audience understands what you are trying to convey and listen to questions that are raised.
Keep it simple
When you can use a simple and easy-to-understand word, use it. Using jargon, slang or complex language will just confuse your audience. Say only what you mean and mean only what you say. If you are not sure that your intended message was received by the listener, reconfirm.
When faced with problems, many people give so much focus to solutions that they fail to listen and fully understand what the issue is. Asking lots of questions to clarify the problem is a simple, but highly effective, way of overcoming this.
Be positive and constructive
No one likes to start a conversation in a negative way. Do your best to communicate messages in positive and constructive methods. If you are in a performance review, address any weaknesses as new opportunities to learn and grow for self-improvement. In a team meeting, lead the discussion with a “structure”, but guide the conversation with “flexibility”.
Communicate in order to make better decisions
You are not going to get every decision right. You can, however, communicate your options and the pros and cons of decisions to your colleagues in order to help you and the business to make more effective decisions.
The teams that you manage like to feel involved, and communicating with them is one of the easiest and cheapest things to do. Let your team members know what is going on, what the objectives of the business are and listen to their feedback.