As a Manager, you have to cope with people. This is your daily bread. The way you communicate with others can be a key to either your success or failure. People tend to block themselves, refuse to cooperate when their Manager talks to them in the wrong way. A good Manager has to understand a few ground rules that always have to be applied while communicating with other people, and here they are!
Respect the person you talk to
It is a very simple fact. If you want a person to do something for you, you have to respect him because this is up to his goodwill to listen to you or not. You may think that it is untrue. He gets paid for his work, so he has to listen but this is not encouraging people to really do their job well. Some managers think that they have the authority to give orders, just like it is in the army but they are mixing-up two different jobs. A Manager’s job is not equal to a Commander’s job. As a Commander, you are sending orders that usually are not giving space for others to think. Your people have to listen to you. There is a tiny thin border from being rude then and stop listening to your colleagues. Respect is gone.
Respect in communication also means that you have to be polite and give others a chance to express their thoughts.
Listen, listen, listen and then speak
In general, when you talk a lot, it’s is a good sign because you may think that you are a good communicator. However, this is only partly true, especially when you are a Manager, you have to realize that it is very important to also listen. Once you are trying to overflow the people you talk to with a number of words to explain the same problem in the same way for a few times, you simply confuse them.
Adapt to the person you are talking to
A manager speaks to people from different departments, clients, directors, in general to many people. This brings a challenge, you cannot use the same way of communication with all people. Very polite and elaborate message sent to your daily team members can be received as a gesture of exalting yourself in front of the others. They want to talk to you in a simple and very direct way. However, when you are talking with your clients you have to realize that the level of formality can vary. A good manager always thinks about this aspect when he starts a conversation. This way he is always able to reach a good level of understanding of the message he is about to convey.
Take into account that you can be wrong
When there is a problem and you think that you know the solution, in fact, you have to realize that you can never be 100% sure. Therefore, it is good to communicate from the perspective of a person who can be wrong. So, instead of saying “You made a mistake”, it is better to say “Are you sure that this is the right way?” or “To me, this is the way how it should be done. What do you think?”
Leave the space for others to think
A manager has to send tasks in a way that they are not taken as commands. Instead of saying what exactly has to be done to achieve the goal, a good Manager expresses the problem and asks for solutions. So, instead of saying “Mark, please go the nearby post to send those letters before noon. Otherwise, it will be not delivered till the end of tomorrow!”, you could say “Mark, what can we do to assure that our client gets this letter by tomorrow evening?”. Mark can then suggest “Maybe it is better to send it via fax?”, and then you could say “oh, a great idea!”. This simple example illustrates the important difference. When you leave a space for a person to think, he can amaze you with the ideas he comes up with.
Timing is the key
Imagine that you are very surprised because you just got a phone call from one of your clients with a serious complaint. After a while of investigation, you know that the problem is caused by one of your colleagues. You immediately go to his room and in front of the others, with some strong emotions you express the problem. The person for sure stopped listening to you right after you started because he focused all his thoughts on the fact that you scream at him in front of the others. You simply do not reach your goal that way. Instead, you have to think about the consequences of your actions before you really do them. You have to think about the right moment and the right way to send the message.
What you send is what you get
As a Manager, you have to be quick and flexible. Problems that arise have to be solved fast and effectively. You want to knock the problems down, solve them before they grow. This urge can force you to send your message in a very raw form. Some people are able to interpret it well, but others will simply not understand you. You have to be aware of the quality of your message. It has to be well-formed to the recipient. Do not assume that he will understand your brain waves. It does not work that way!