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How to Communicate as a Manager

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Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

Everything DiSC® can facilitate manager and team communication

In any relationship, communication is key. It helps to address concerns, clarify questions, and convey emotions. Good workplace communication creates a comfortable and effective environment. Without clear information exchange, team members can become disgruntled and project completion can be left in jeopardy. As a new employee at FlashPoint, I had the opportunity to sit in on a Management Vitals™ session recently facilitated by one of my coworkers. While I was there, I learned about the many different ways that a manager can communicate effectively with their employees.

Here are the different methods that stood out to me most:

7 ways to communicate better

  • Understand your own style and how you come across to others

When considering how you work with others, it’s best to first focus on understanding yourself. Everyone has different preferences, strengths, and areas for improvement when it comes to how you manage and communicate with others. Your personal DiSC® style will be able to give you a good perspective on what your unique management style is. Your behavior affects others, so once you are more self-aware of your own style, then you can begin to understand your coworkers as well.
  • Take into account and adjust to other DiSC® styles on your team

Now that you are more self-aware, you can use your management style to more effectively work with others on your team. Consider asking yourself, “How can my words and actions help strengthen my coworkers based on their different styles?”. Each person on your team has a different DiSC® style and by knowing team members’ styles, you have the ability to cater to their specific preferences. This knowledge can help you make better requests, understand others’ perspectives on a challenge, and more.

Another thing to consider is how you can harness the different styles and strengths of your coworkers and use them to your team’s advantage. Diversity should be celebrated and can be used as a great tool for success.

  • Communicate with your employees about their goals and help them follow through

It is essential that your employees have goals to strive toward at work. It is your job to communicate clearly so they can meet expectations and give them an occasional push if needed. If they meet their goals, not only will your employees be happier and accomplish more, but your job will get easier too! A functional and communicative team is a more successful team.

  • Ask your employees if they need support

My manager loves to ask this question, and it has been quite helpful on many occasions. By regularly checking in with your employees, it allows them to trust you and feel more comfortable and supported within the workplace. Quite often it does not require much time either – simply a five-minute check-in and a few words of encouragement usually do the trick. However, be prepared to have a longer discussion if there is an underlying issue or new idea that needs to be addressed.

  • Be constructive with your feedback, not critical

Your job is to lift spirits and encourage productivity, not bring discouragement to your employees. Therefore, when offering feedback, it’s important to be truthful and give your honest opinion in a positive way. One way to do so is to encourage employees to brainstorm a solution to the issue at hand. Helping your employees come up with solutions will not only be more efficient but also more rewarding for both parties.

  • Listen for more than the words your employees are telling you

People tend to express their emotions in many different ways. This relates back to everyone’s unique DiSC® style and how they personally handle challenges that may create stress and conflict. Although it’s impossible to be a mind reader, being aware of your coworkers’ DiSC® styles will allow you to be more in tune with what they are feeling. Is a coworker being defensive? Perhaps he or she is feeling overwhelmed. You can also assess some aspects like their body language and not just the words they are using but how they are using them.

  • Know your relationship and communication with coworkers will have to change when you start a new role (but this isn't always a bad thing!)

First, it’s important to remember to not let your employees take advantage of your friendship when you’re promoted within your organization, and that you should not abuse your new power either. Mutual respect between all parties is essential and you can also still maintain great relationships with your coworkers as long as expectations are clearly expressed and respected.

 

Going into the New Year, we all have a lot of resolutions that we would like to see come to fruition. With these easy steps, being a better communicator can easily be achieved. Not only will your team members be thankful for clearer expectations and more supportive feedback, but as a manager you will find great relief in the benefit of communicating efficiently as well.

 

If you're looking for more ways to develop your managers or skills managers should master, check out our series on strategic skills for managers.


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Kaylynn Cline

Kaylynn Cline Kaylynn is FlashPoint's digital media marketing coordinator. She engages FlashPoint's audiences with video, social media graphics, web graphics, and more.

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