Communication is one of the top skills leaders need to master if they want to reach their goals. But why is it so important? The way they communicate with their team, the timing of it, and the information they share all impact how people feel about their jobs and the company.
However, a survey conducted by Interact/Harris revealed that 91% of employees believe their managers are bad communicators. Most of them send unclear and vague messages and use inflated terms that might confuse people.
If you're one of those managers who tell your team to focus on key priorities, get better results for this quarter or put the customer first, you may need to be more specific about what you want to achieve and how you would do it.
Using fuzzy declarations and assuming everyone on the team shares the exact definition of concepts such as priorities, customer relationships, culture, or results is a big communication mistake. And this mistake is perpetuated when other senior managers, fearing looking stupid, keep passing vague instructions to their own teams.
Effective communication becomes a management tool that, when used well, creates organizational alignment and improves performance. In its absence, misalignment costs the company precious time, talented people, and productivity.
So what are those key messages leaders should have control over if they want to meet their goals and influence their organization? Keep reading to find out. But first, let's take a look at common issues recognized by employees when communication is not a priority in their workplace.
Communication issues that impair effective leadership
The survey mentioned above identified the following problems when leaders lack communication skills:
Five key messages leaders should manage
Effective communication must happen across subjects, business units, and the whole organization. John Hamm, the author of the Harvard Business Review article “The Five Messages Leaders Must Manage,” recommends focusing on these particular areas as crucial issues emerge when communication is poor and vague.
1. Organizational Structure
Resistance to change is natural, so announcements about organizational changes should be made carefully, especially if the corporate structure is involved. The organizational structure represents influence and power, so people fear losing their status when modifications are announced.
And if a leader fails to share details of such an important plan at the right time, the whole company can fall into chaos. But presenting a reorganization as a way to achieve goals and optimize resources rather than just shifting people’s positions in the org chart can make a huge difference.
It’s the manager’s responsibility to deliver an explicit message in a way that gives people a good understanding of the process, the reasoning, and the expected results. The goal: avoid rumors and fear.
2. Financial Results
Yes, the goal for any organization is to grow its financials. But telling team members they need to bring results can be risky for the company because they will do whatever it takes to meet the expected results. Along the way, leaders forget the connection between people and results. If employees don’t find value in their job, they lose interest, and their performance will be compromised.
Building a solid plan, communicating it, and focusing on clean execution can bring in the desired results. And if leaders make people part of this process from the beginning, the outcome will exceed the expectations. Why? When employees feel they’re more than simple workers, great ideas come up, and financial results are surpassed.
3. The Leader’s Sense of His or Her Job
There's a misconception among some managers that they are in that position to answer all the questions, solve all the problems, and make all the decisions. The truth is that effective leaders understand that their role is to bring out the best in their people and create a collaborative environment where everyone can safely pitch in.
Yes, knowledge is one of the reasons they are in a management position, but leading a team requires another set of skills and abilities. Empowering team members to find solutions to problems and be part of the decision-making process is just the beginning. A collaborative approach encourages smart people to contribute great ideas.
4. Time Management
Time is gold, and as a precious element, it’s short in supply. Or at least that’s what most people believe. Between meetings and deadlines, managers struggle to meet the long list of commitments during the limited hours of the day. But when they send the message that time is what rules, quantity over quality takes over the organization.
Getting people to do too much in a block of time gives the wrong idea of productivity and makes the company’s operations ineffective. So when time constraints appear, leaders need to show how to use this limited resource best by signaling to do fewer things but do them very well.
5. Corporate Culture
Creating a corporate culture is challenging. It relies on your employees and how they behave in your organization. But it’s on the leader to communicate the company’s values and build processes to guide people to act according to them.
When managers fail to share their vision and expectations, cultures become meaningless. A healthy culture creates the best scenarios for people to achieve their goals and keeps teams in the loop about any important corporate updates or changes and business practices. Communications are clear, and everyone knows their role in the organization.
Taking your communication efforts lightly will impact your business goals. The messages you send (or don’t send) will make people behave accordingly. So being intentional and clear when communicating has the power to align people around the vision, so everyone works towards the same goals.
9/20/2022 02:09:49 am
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11/16/2022 08:35:51 am
When used effectively, effective communication becomes a management tool that fosters corporate alignment and enhances productivity. For effective communication, you can take help of professional online tutors available at SweetStudy. Misalignment costs the business valuable time, talented employees, and productivity when it is absent.
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