Communication Skills For Managers

Communication Skills For Managers

Date: On Demand (access any time)
Investment: $285 per person
(Discounts for multiple participants)

INCLUDES: One-on-One Telephone Coaching

As a manager, a large part of your role involves talking to and interacting with your team and with other people in the organisation. It’s safe to say that you will be communicating with someone almost ALL of the time.

In today’s dynamic environment, communication is not limited to face to face conversations, today’s communication can:

  • Be face to face
  • Over the phone
  • On Email
  • Over Chat
  • Over a webinar or video conference

You will also communicate with:

  • Your team
  • Customers
  • Stakeholders
  • Other teams and peers

Some companies are even using platforms such as Second Life (Virtual worlds) on which employees can communicate and interact with each other.

Effective communication skills can make or break your presentation, a project, a deal or even a career.

Tips to Communicate Better

Over the next two pages we will talk about how to assess your communication skills as a manager, what to keep in mind when communicating, how to listen actively. We will also cover ways to write effective emails and the 7 C’s of Effective Communication.

1. Assess yourself

Since communication skills is a vast topic, it is best to first evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Think about the various types of communication you need do make as part of your role. List them down on a piece of paper. Now go through the list and rate yourself on a scale of one to ten with ten—needing no improvement and 1-needing drastic improvement. If you can get your manager or team members or peers to help you identify where you need to focus on.

2. What to keep in mind

Regardless of how you are communicating at work, here is a simple checklist, that you can use to immediately improve any kind of communication that you need to do.

  1. Identify who the audience is
  2. Identify the goal of the communication
  3. What are the key messages you want to send?
  4. What is the actual content?
  5. How can you get feedback that the communication was effective?
  6. How can you refine and improve this communication?

3. Active Listening

A big part of communicating effectively is listening to what people are actually saying and this is probably one of the hardest skills to learn. Here are some tips for you to become an active listener both at work and in your personal life:

  • Give the person your undivided attention
  • Show that you are listening through your body language and by the use of verbal and non-verbal nods and eye contact.
  • Reflect and paraphrase what the person is saying, this includes asking questions.
  • Don’t interrupt or judge what the other person is saying.
  • Be honest and open in your response.

4. Effective Emails

Many managers write close to 50 or more emails every single day. Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you need to shoot out an email or 20.

  • Your subject line needs to grab attention like a headline does.
  • Make one point per email (An email is not an essay, though we have seen so many examples of these essay emails that we are convinced many people think they are).
  • Specify the kind of action that you want the person to take, whether it is a reply, sending a file or doing something physically in response to your email.
  • Emails are free, you can send as many as you need to.
  • Practice being a good correspondent, respond to emails when you receive them and remember to set an Out of Office when you are not available.

5. The 7 C’s of Communication

The 7 C’s are a checklist that you can use to make sure that your emails, meetings, conference calls, reports and presentations are well constructed and effective.

  1. Clear: Be clear about what is the goal of your communication? Ask yourself why you are communicating with this person? What do you want to achieve? Be as specific as possible, people should not have to ‘read between the lines’ to understand what you are saying.
  2. Concise: Being concise is about sticking to the point and being as brief as possible. Many powerful speakers use short sentences and words that can understood by a 12 year old.
  3. Concrete: A concrete message is one that sends a clear picture to the audience about what you are telling them about. Concrete messages are detailed and focused. Your message needs to come alive in the minds of your audience.
  4. Correct: Have you ever attended a great presentation, you like the speaker, the slides are interesting and suddenly right in the middle of it all, there is a spelling mistake on one of the slides. All of a sudden the speaker loses a little credibility and the presentation is not as interesting as it initially was. Good communication is also error-free communication.
  5. Coherent: Coherent communication, means that what you are saying or writing or presenting needs to be logical and each point needs to connect to the next one in a way that makes sense to the audience.
  6. Complete: When communication is complete, your audience has all the information they need in order to make a decision or carry out the action that you want them to take.
  7. Courteous: Lastly, make sure that your communication is courteous. At work all our communication should be polite, friendly, open and honest. There are no hidden insults, aggression or unprofessional comments.