The most important skill that managers need to possess is knowing how to communicate well. Without communication, managers cannot get their point across to their staff members, which will diminish their ability to run their department well. Below are various ways to improve communication skills to have better interaction at work.
1. Listen – The very first step to becoming a better communicator is to simply listen. Truly listening to someone else, which means putting down your mobile phone and turning away from your computer monitor, will eliminate most communication issues altogether. Listening is especially crucial during meetings, or in setting where multiple people are involved. Managers need to do their due diligence to make sure all team members are putting in effort on a project, so they need to train themselves to really listen to who is saying what, and who is not saying anything. And, finally, listening is the only way to make sure that subordinates understand the task assigned to them. Once supervisors hone their listening skills, they see a huge improvement in the communication between themselves and their staff.
2. Avoid Ambiguity – Oftentimes, two people can end one conversation, both coming away with two different understandings of what transpired. Additionally, some words can have various meanings depending on the context in which they are used. Therefore, managers need to attempt to be very direct when communicating with staff. Avoiding lengthy conversations and dubious instructions, supervisors need to provide concise step-by-step instructions that team members should follow.
3. Require Confirmation – Because communication with an employee can often be vague and leave one or both parties uncertain about the true meaning of what was said, it is advised to require verbal confirmation. After explaining what needs to be done in concise terms, ask the employee to reiterate what they understood you to mean in his or her own terms. This will give you certainty that your point was comprehended and that the individual will do exactly what you asked from him or her.
4. Write it Down – When all else fails, write it down. Some people understand better verbally, while others have a better time seeing something written down. You may choose to explain something to a subordinate, and then send them a quick email to reinforce your main points. This way, individuals can go back to the e-mail to be certain they are on the right track.
Communication errors account for many misunderstandings at work. When supervisors learn to improve their communication skills, they see a huge improvement in their delegation and management skills. Use the ways above to start communicating better at work.