Communication is such an important skill for any manager. But it isn’t just about talking and keeping people informed of what you are doing, it’s about understanding the people in your team and what they really need to hear.
To help you develop your team communication skills we offer you five examples of what will help you and your team develop further.
1. “Thank You”
I know it sounds a bit obvious and you might say that it’s just common courtesy. Whilst it may be automatic because of your excellent upbringing, do you say it like you mean it? For all the possible rewards in the world, saying thank you sincerely can mean more than anything. Next time you catch yourself saying ‘thank you’ to one of your team members, listen to how you say it. Is it just automatic or did it mean something? If someone stays late to finish a proposal try saying, ‘I really appreciate you staying late to finish this proposal for me. It will impress the customer and hopefully means we will get the business.’
2. “I Trust You”
This one is really powerful if used in the right way. Do you remember a time when a manager first said this to you or any time when you were working for them? Once you had gained that trust, did you want to lose it? How did it affect the way you looked at things? It helps people to take more responsibility and more importantly gives them belief that they can do something, sometimes even before they believe it themselves. Sometimes you have to believe it BEFORE you see it. Show trust even before they have earned it. Go on, be brave!
3. “I Like You The Way You Did That”
Everybody wants to get feedback, particularly the positive kind. The way you give praise can be as important as giving constructive feedback. To help you, remember the acronym S.S.I.P. This stands for Specific, Sincere, Immediate and Public.
People need your praise to be specific so they know which bit they did well so they will do it that way again. Saying ‘Good job!’ is too vague to be useful. Be sincere as we mentioned above. Praise them as soon as you can so that they make a connection in their brain between the act and the praise. Finally praise in public (and criticise in private). In other words praise them in front of their peers. Not only will you make them look good, the others may try harder to get some praise too!
4. “Can I Ask You What Do You Think About This?”
Asking the opinion of your colleagues taps into the power that is in their brains. You only have one brain and you DON’T have all the answers despite what you think. The bonus is that people like to be asked for their opinion and shows that you value it. Oh, and remember BE SINCERE!
5. “What Can I Do To Help You Achieve Your Goals?”
Whilst your key performance indicators and targets may be the current focus of your attention, looking at the long term development of your team will reap its own rewards. If people genuinely see that you are trying to help them reach their potential in life, they are more likely to be loyal while they are still with you. If they feel you are not interested in their development, don’t be surprised if they take what they can and leave anyway. A great quote from the management book, ‘Squawk!: How to Stop Making Noise and Start Getting Results’ Travis Bradberry, Ph.D, says, ‘People join companies and leave managers’.
So, what things do you need to say to your team to motivate them and stop them from leaving?
Senior Management Trainer & Consultant at MTD Training
(Image by Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)