Communicating with the Team: Tips for Managers to Know

Great communication is an essential part of any successful business, but when it comes to communicating with the team, do you know how to do it best? Here are some great tips for making sure you’re not missing anything:

  • Communication is a two-way street and requires as much effort to listen as it does to talk. Not many people pay attention to this, and it’s easy to get so wrapped up in your own message that you forget to really listen to what the person on the other end of the line is saying.
  • An effective communicator is to listen. When someone communicates with you, you need to listen to them. This means you don’t interrupt them when they are talking.
  • Provide your team with realistic deadlines and expectations. Make sure that you have a clear picture of the goals and expectations you have for a project before you assign a team with the task of meeting those goals. The only way this will be accomplished is if both the team and the company have realistic deadlines and expectations. You can help your team by creating a timeline with benchmarks and defining the process’s different steps.
  • Make sure you’re addressing the right problems. A lot of managers make the mistake of thinking that any problem they come across is worth addressing. But that’s not the case. A problem is only worth addressing if it’s negatively affecting your productivity, and only if you are able to do something about it. In other words, you should only be focusing on the problems that you’re able to fix.
  • Make sure you’re not micromanaging. Stop if you’re micromanaging – you’re doing your employees a disservice. The best leaders let their employees do their job and trust that they are capable of doing it well. It’s basic, but it’s important.
  • Make sure you’re giving the appropriate amount of feedback. The feedback you give your team members is crucial to your team’s success. But giving feedback isn’t always easy. If done incorrectly, your feedback can cause your team to have a negative relationship with you. The workplace can be a very stressful place. That’s why managers need to be sure to give their employees the right amount of feedback. Too much or too little, and employees could end up not knowing what they’re doing right or wrong.
  • Make sure you’re not letting your emotions get in the way. Many times, a manager will overrule the team’s decision on a given topic because it did not align with his or her personal biases. This is wrong on so many levels. First, you are leading the team—you are not your team. Second, your biases are not necessarily the best. (After all, you’re biased!) Finally, the team needs to feel like they have a voice and that you trust them to make good decisions.
  • Make sure you’re not talking in buzzwords and acronyms. The best way to understand what’s going on in the office is to hang out with your team, but you still can’t always avoid getting totally lost in all the jargon and acronyms they throw around. Buzzwords and acronyms can seem very cool, but they’re also very easy to overuse—and they often confuse more than they clarify. If you’re not careful, they can have the opposite effect because if you don’t know what a word means, you won’t be listening anymore.
  • Set the right tone with the way you communicate with your team members. When you’re in charge of a team, it can sometimes be tempting to take the easy way out and be sarcastic, passive-aggressive, or even just plain mean with your co-workers.  But if you want your team to work well together and reach your goals, you have to resist that temptation and be more constructive.
  • Give them the opportunity to express themselves. Communicating with the team is important for Managers to know. If you communicate well with the team, they will feel able to approach you with any problems they may have. This will help with issues such as conflict, or perhaps a co-worker not pulling their weight, but also helps to strengthen the bond between you and your team.

The ability to communicate with people is one of the most critical skills for a manager. Whether you’re leading a team of 10 or 10,000, you need to be able to share your vision and goals and listen to the people you are leading. This is a skill that you can learn and improve with time.

 

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