As humans, communication is an integral part of our existence. We talk to people, we listen to people, and we react during conversations. A lifetime of socializing would make it seem like communication is an easy job. However, the reality is that it takes more skill and finesse than expected, especially for managers, whose entire job description revolves around proper communication and task delegation.
However, communication in itself isn’t just one skill. It comprises several different skills that build and connect from each other, and managers need to be adept in all of them to be great in their jobs. Whether you’re a manager for a tech firm discussing with business partners or a plumbing contractor talking with a client, you need to utilize the skill set effective communication brings.
Below are some of the skills you need to know and what you can do to improve them.
Be a Good Listener
A large part of communicating is listening. A common misconception regarding ‘communication skills’ is that you need to be very eloquent and have a way with words. While they are great qualities to have, the most important part of good communication is listening well.
It would help if you listened to what the other party has to say to understand them fully. To be a good listener, especially in a professional context, you need to be an active listener. Active listening basically means that you are fully committed to listening, remembering the important points that they mentioned, and not just passively listening to their words. There is a difference between ‘listening’ and ‘hearing,’ and understanding what they’re saying is the notable difference.
Take note of the important details, clarify if necessary. The better you do this, the more people will reach you because you understand them, making communication a lot easier.
Deliver Complete Information
Whenever we give instructions, we expect that the one receiving them understands them and follows them to the best of their ability. When they fail to do so, not only does it feel disappointing on our part, but in a professional context, it can be a costly mistake. However, most of the time, it’s not just the listener’s fault, but also the one providing the instructions.
When giving important information, it’s best to complete the context first. Explain the full situation, as detailed as necessary, but in simple terms. You can think of it in this manner; you need to explain something that a 12-year-old will understand without insulting the other person’s intelligence.
While this may sound difficult, you can practice by simplifying instructions and leaving only the most important part. Discard what is not necessary, but make sure that the key points remain.
Be Stoic, React Logically
One of the downfalls of managers is reacting emotionally. You’ve probably seen a situation where something doesn’t go to plan, and a manager reacts with vigor and passion better left outside of a professional environment.
And this emotional reaction isn’t exclusive to discussing with subordinates- it extends to everyone. Oftentimes, we can react emotionally to business decisions done by business partners or have a knee-jerk reaction to a market shift. Remember that our reactions are like a pebble thrown into a lake; they ripple and affect others. It’s best to maintain a calm and pleasant demeanor, even in the face of adversity. This allows you to maintain a clear head and address problems logically. Even in the context of a conversation, reacting logically means you’re saving yourself from emotional outbursts that can inevitably hurt your coworkers. Be stoic, and you will see things for what they are, allowing you to react better.