Communication is a major part of managing. As a manager there will be situations where you will have to communicate a new policy or process, times where you will have to understand issues that are impacting on the delivery of results or poor performance, present a report or business case to secure additional resources to name just a few. So what’s the benefit of improved communication?
When communicating something new to people, it is easy for things to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. As a manager you can avoid misunderstanding by making sure that when you are briefing, you state what is required, check understanding and listen to questions that are raised.
Have you ever come across a situation, where you thought you had quickly discovered the problem that someone had, immediately stated what needed to be done only to find out that nothing changed? If you have, you are not alone. Many people when faced with problems give so much focus to coming up with solutions that they fail to listen and fully understand what the issue is. Asking lots of questions to clarify the problem is a simple but highly effective way of overcoming this.
You are not going to get every decision right that is a certainty. You can however, get many more right than you get wrong simply by writing out all of your options and the pros and cons of each. If you have to recommend a decision, the same approach can be taken and you can add in another step where you look at the decision through the eyes of the decision takers.
The teams that you manage like to feel involved and communicating with them is one of the easiest and cheapest things to do. For example, imagine there is some upcoming change that is going to impact on your team. One strategy would be to tell them and leave it at that. An alternative would be to communicate the change, listen to their concerns and get their ideas on how as a team you can all work together to make it a success. Which strategy do you think would have greatest impact?