Effective communication skills are important for every employee in an organization, but they are especially critical for managers who want to improve employee productivity, performance, teamwork, and morale. To truly be effective, managers must master verbal, nonverbal, and written communication skills. Every interaction with an employee is an opportunity to make a positive impact on both a personal and professional level.
Effective communication skills are important for managers to be successful at:
- Providing employee feedback: Managers are responsible for providing their employees with constructive feedback regarding their performance and behaviors. Good communications 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. Whether in a group or one-on-on situation, managers have the capability to either motive or alienate employees.
- Resolving conflicts: It’s important to remember that listening is a key aspect of effective communication skills. Managers who listen give employees confidence in their leadership abilities, let them know their opinions are valuable, and enable them to freely discuss problems that are affecting both personal and team performance. 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.
- Interdepartmental relationships: In addition to communicating with their subordinates, managers must also demonstrate finesse when exchanging information and ideas with other departments. Effective interdepartmental communication helps build trust and alliances so all areas of the organization can work together towards a common goal.
- 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 ultimate enhance team unity, productivity, and morale.
- Performance management: Effective communication skills are an essential component of a manager’s ability to improve employee performance. Managers who maintain candid and open communication lines with employees can establish the two-way dialogue that is crucial for performance appraisals to be meaningful and effective.
Managers must also remember that they are role models and that their employees will often seek to emulate their behavior. Employees observe their managers’ communications with other others and, ultimately, learn to use the same techniques in their professional relationships.
As managers seek to improve their employees’ communication skills, as well as their own, they must pay close attention to their verbal, nonverbal, and written interactions if they expect to build successful work teams.
Coaching can play a key role in helping managers develop these effective communication skills. Contact a San Diego coaching firm if you or your company wants to learn more about executive coaching to improve communication throughout your organization.