The best supervisors understand and practice these essential communication tips.
Successful managers bring different management styles to their team. There is no one size fits all approach. Managers need to understand their own strengths and those of the people on their team to more effectively understand how to communicate, motivate and develop each person. Here are three important elements managers should consider to maximize their effectiveness with the team.
Sharing Your Voice
Sharing your voice encompasses many elements including clearly conveying goals and objectives, resolving conflicts and making sure the contributions of each team member are recognized by senior leaders. When managers don’t share their voice serious consequences can emerge such as people not being clear on their role, a conflict that escalates and causes unnecessary drama within the team, someone not getting promoted, someone else receiving credit for specific work done or people losing respect for their leader. Managers need to be aware of how they are coming across, and of when to tone their voices up or down to make sure their team feels heard, but also has clear directions.
One of the toughest things to do is to simply listen. As managers become more experienced and successful, they often have opinions on every issue and think they know all the answers. This can lead to a manager sharing their two cents on every decision, interrupting other employees’ direct reports or reacting before he or she understands the issue. “Fake listening” is simple, but making the other person feel heard is challenging for many. Some of the areas I work on with managers include listening completely to what someone has to say without disrupting their train of thought, considering whether the manager’s comment needs to be shared and gaining awareness around telling a story that may not be relevant to the person. As our ability to listen increases, we make better connections, learn more about the situation and become less reactive and more thoughtful.
People want to feel heard and feel that they matter. The best managers know this, and understand the need to recognize the people on their team. They also realize that people need to be recognized differently. Some people prefer monetary rewards or want public recognition, while others want a promotion or prefer a private congratulations from the manager.
Gallup has conducted in-depth analysis on the topic of recognition and their research shows that only one in three U.S. workers strongly agrees that they have received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days. Employees who do not feel recognized for their efforts are twice as likely to quit their jobs in the next year. Recognizing team members is an easy fix for managers, and is good for the employees, company and customers.
Managers need to develop their own customized approach to management based on their personal strengths. Once they understand the strengths of each of their direct reports, they can more effectively share their voice, as well as listen to and recognize each member of their teams. The result is a more engaged, productive, satisfied and profitable workforce.