It goes without saying, but we’ll repeat it anyway: Good communication is absolutely vital for smooth sailing in a business. And now’s a good time to make sure your skills are still up to snuff.
In a post from the Communication Bulletin for Managers and Supervisors, Maureen Gorman shares communication skills worth knowing like the back of your hand. Here are three important ones.
Listen more, talk less
How many times mid-conversation does your mind wander? Worse, how many times do you start formulating what you’re going to say in your head before that person even finishes their thought? These are two bad habits that will inhibit your ability to communicate effectively. Listen, focus and when it’s your turn to speak, ask that person to confirm. “Let me make sure I’ve got this right…” is a phrase that not only helps you keep it together, but shows the other person you actually care.
Too much of this and you’ll obscure the truth, and too little information in any conversation can make you appear ambiguous or hard to work with. Say it like it is. Be direct and tell your employees if there are problems that need to be worked out. By that same token, own up to your own mistakes and don’t try to downplay anything. If upper management took a wrong turn, it’s important to let employees know that you’re working to fix it.
Schedule times to talk
A personal, sincere conversation with a staff member about their job performance goes a long way. It shows you care about what they’re doing and makes them feel important to the operation (as they should). Go through your planner and schedule intervals to talk with employees — not just key staffers; make time for everyone.
Do you have some great communication strategies or practices that you employ in the workplace? Let us know about it in the comments below.