communication gaps

January 26, 2009

Management Communication Skills – Worth Making An Effort?

A manager needs to have good communication skills. It is one of the major elements of communication. One of the most vital skills in any manager or supervisor’s portfolio of skills. But why? What are the benefits of being a good communicator? Often a manager is asked to explain or make understood a new policy which is to be implemented or a particular process that is already in use be refined. It could be that new approaches are needed to make the difference in our challenging world.

For example, there may be times when he needs to find out where internal systems are holding back growth, resulting in poor performance in a business. He might decide to make a presentation suggesting improved measures which would add impetus by making the systems and processes more effective. In order to convey his strategy and get that established, it’s essential for him to communicate well.

And, you know, another skill is the simple, day to day activity of listening to and talking with your people – as simple as that. So, of course, it’s important to master the art of communication. How and where are you to begin, if you are planning on fine-tuning this skill?

Misunderstandings often come from communication gaps, leading to more and more frustration! While trying to explain something new to the audience, it’s sometimes found that the manager is wrongly interpreted or seems to be speaking out of context. During breaks, it’s worth checking with the audience whether they have followed and where necessary, amend a presentation the next time. It’s also worth exploring where they misunderstood and learning from this for the future.

When your people have come up with a problem, you might have felt that you understood all it’s complex twists and turns. Trust me; you are not the only one to misinterpret what you thought you understood – it’s so easy! When people are given a problem, they divert their attention towards finding a solution to it and in doing so they fail to understand the various aspects that the particular issue involves. By listening very carefully to the problem, by paying close attention to the detail and asking incisive questions, you will ensure there is little home for misunderstanding. This is a really effective way of getting into a problem and resolving it.

All the decisions you take might not be right but you can cut down on the number of wrong decisions. If you write down all possibilities and evaluate their various pros and cons, you will, without doubt make better decisions. Also, if you want to put into effect the decision you have taken, it’s worth thinking also from the recipient’s point of view in advance.

When working with a team, top-class communication and collaboration is essential. You need to manage your team well and build team-spirit where you can. Where new ideas and plans are going to be implemented, let your team know about it in the most timely fashion – if possible, get them involved in the ‘how’ of the implementation. Another thing you can do is to discuss changes fully with them, so they can voice their opinions and integrate their contributions in how they feel it will be best to work in future.

Resources for your communication activities need to be arranged and, where investment allows, improved over time. New support staff can be involved to make things run more smoothly and more appropriate equipment bought. These are a few ways to improve the technical side of your communication skill. So, starting today, it’s worth deciding that you are going to take yourself the top of the communications scale with your people.

Developing your personal communication skill is one of the most important tactics in your management development toolkit. It has the potential to catalyse great success. Only you can do it!

*****

Improved Communication Skills – Will They Make You A Better Manager?

A vitally important skill for managers is communication. Developing this will make a big difference to how successful you are. Even though sometimes managers are required to impart vital information, the way he or she communicates it, as well as everyday abilities to get on well with their team members, can make or break the potential to perform. By taking steps to change attitudes and behaviors around methods of communication, a manager can get more, much more, from the people around them.

Using great delving questions can get to the bottom of many challenging issues for managers. If progress is being held back because of some problem with processes for example, getting to the bottom of them might be critical for success and above all profitability. Utilizing excellent communication skills to present facts and show team members what’s going on and what isn’t, may well be the way forward. A really good manager will more than adequately demonstrate this capability.

Whilst special communication situations are important, it is likely to be just a small part of the manager’s role, compared with the need to interact with their people on a regular day-to-day basis. Good managers talk to their people all the time, getting to know them well and building great rapport as they go. Understanding how important this is, helps those managers who care for success to decide just how they are going to develop this skillset to the full.

Typically common and damaging effects of poor communication skills are how misunderstandings develop. These can drive employees mad and managers to the edge of despair, especially when actions don’t happen as they should. If a manager doesn’t clearly understand the needs of the audience they are speaking with, then their efforts may well be in vain. Taking the time to ascertain whether those listening are ‘getting it’, will create instant feedback so that whatever is being said can be adapted ‘on-the-fly’.

As issues arise, managers need to consider what they are being told carefully, whilst ensuring that they get all the detail before they act. Sometimes, assumptions can get a manager into hot water, so it’s vital that they find out what really is fact, before they decide on a course of action. This is not just about the ability to impart information, more, it’s about the capacity to listen carefully and then frame ‘discovery’ questions appropriate to the contextual clues they have received.

When deciding on a course of action, it is important to make sure that you have all the detail down first, check that you have heard what you have been told is correct and then, only then, go for a course of action. You see, how well a manager receives information, is at least as critical to success as how they impart it – probably even more so.

When working with teams, what you say and what they hear is even more importantto get right. If one person gets the wrong end of the stick, then quite soon you will end up with confusion, frustration and possibly even internal strife amongst the team. Clarity is vital here. Taking the time when you brief a whole team, to recognize that they will all receive messages in very different ways (and accommodating this), will be well worth the effort in the long run. Including two-way communication with each and every member of the team fosters team spirit and collaboration.

It’s important from the outset that you have ensured there are adequate facilities for any occasions where good communication is important to you. This can be done well in advance for major events. Even when you are holding regular weekly or monthly meetings, by ensuring that you have the appropriate resources in place will not only mean that your message gets across, but also how well your people feel that they are being treated.

It really is worth the effort to ensure that your communication skills are properly developed. Then your business is in a great place to flourish. It’s up to you!

Filed under Building the Future, Developing Your People by Martin

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December 3, 2008

Management Communication Skills – Worth Making An Effort?

A manager needs to have good communication skills. It is one of the major elements of communication. One of the most vital skills in any manager or supervisor’s portfolio of skills. But why? What are the benefits of being a good communicator? Often a manager is asked to explain or make understood a new policy which is to be implemented or a particular process that is already in use be refined. It could be that new approaches are needed to make the difference in our challenging world.

For example, there may be times when he needs to find out where internal systems are holding back growth, resulting in poor performance in a business. He might decide to make a presentation suggesting improved measures which would add impetus by making the systems and processes more effective. In order to convey his strategy and get that established, it’s essential for him to communicate well.

And, you know, another skill is the simple, day to day activity of listening to and talking with your people – as simple as that. So, of course, it’s important to master the art of communication. How and where are you to begin, if you are planning on fine-tuning this skill?

Misunderstandings often come from communication gaps, leading to more and more frustration! While trying to explain something new to the audience, it’s sometimes found that the manager is wrongly interpreted or seems to be speaking out of context. During breaks, it’s worth checking with the audience whether they have followed and where necessary, amend a presentation the next time. It’s also worth exploring where they misunderstood and learning from this for the future.

When your people have come up with a problem, you might have felt that you understood all it’s complex twists and turns. Trust me; you are not the only one to misinterpret what you thought you understood – it’s so easy! When people are given a problem, they divert their attention towards finding a solution to it and in doing so they fail to understand the various aspects that the particular issue involves. By listening very carefully to the problem, by paying close attention to the detail and asking incisive questions, you will ensure there is little home for misunderstanding. This is a really effective way of getting into a problem and resolving it.

All the decisions you take might not be right but you can cut down on the number of wrong decisions. If you write down all possibilities and evaluate their various pros and cons, you will, without doubt make better decisions. Also, if you want to put into effect the decision you have taken, it’s worth thinking also from the recipient’s point of view in advance.

When working with a team, top-class communication and collaboration is essential. You need to manage your team well and build team-spirit where you can. Where new ideas and plans are going to be implemented, let your team know about it in the most timely fashion – if possible, get them involved in the ‘how’ of the implementation. Another thing you can do is to discuss changes fully with them, so they can voice their opinions and integrate their contributions in how they feel it will be best to work in future.

Resources for your communication activities need to be arranged and, where investment allows, improved over time. New support staff can be involved to make things run more smoothly and more appropriate equipment bought. These are a few ways to improve the technical side of your communication skill. So, starting today, it’s worth deciding that you are going to take yourself the top of the communications scale with your people.

Developing your personal communication skill is one of the most important tactics in your management development toolkit. It has the potential to catalyse great success. Only you can do it!

Filed under Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

Permalink Print

November 8, 2008

Communication Skills For Team Leaders – What’s The Benefit? Part 2

Misunderstandings often come from communication gaps, leading to more and more frustration! While trying to explain something new to the audience, it’s sometimes found that the manager is wrongly interpreted or seems to be speaking out of context.

During breaks, it’s worth checking with the audience whether they have followed and where necessary, amend a presentation the next time. It’s also worth exploring where they misunderstood and learning from this for the future.

As issues arise, managers need to consider what they are being told carefully, whilst ensuring that they get all the detail before they act. Sometimes, assumptions can get a manager into hot water, so it’s vital that they find out what really is fact, before they decide on a course of action.

This is not just about the ability to impart information, more, it’s about the capacity to listen carefully and then frame ‘discovery’ questions appropriate to the contextual clues they have received.

When deciding on a course of action, it is important to make sure that you have all the detail down first, check that you have heard what you have been told is correct and then, only then, go for a course of action.

You see, how well a manager receives information, is at least as critical to success as how they impart it – probably even more so.

Filed under Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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November 1, 2008

Communication Skills For Team Leaders – What’s The Benefit? Part 1

Managers are uniquely placed to impact on a business. So, the way they communicate with their people is a vital part of the package.

If you want to ensure that you are successful in your business, the way you get information over as well as the skills you use every day with your employees will make or break you.

By making the effort to learn and enhance your skills for talking and listening to anyone, you will take a big step forward.

For example, there may be times when he needs to find out where internal systems are holding back growth, resulting in poor performance in a business.

He might decide to make a presentation suggesting improved measures which would add impetus by making the systems and processes more effective. In order to convey his strategy and get that established, it’s essential for him to communicate well.

Whilst special communication situations are important, it is likely to be just a small part of the manager’s role, compared with the need to interact with their people on a regular day-to-day basis.

Good managers talk to their people all the time, getting to know them well and building great rapport as they go.

Understanding how important this is, helps those managers who care for success to decide just how they are going to develop this skillset to the full.

Filed under Blog, Management Basics, Managing Me by Martin

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