The Best Managers Are Effective Communicators
Just about every skill a new manager needs to acquire in order to manage effectively requires good communication. You need to learn to communicate better as a new manager. To delegate tasks, to give helpful feedback, to set expectations, to build rapport and connections with the team, to inspire, to negotiate, and to recognize superior work in a meaningful way – all depend on the ability to communicate well with others.
The best managers are able to actively listen, adjust communication styles and modalities to their audience and situation, and encourage open, honest communication among team members. The primary skill that new managers need to develop is the skill of effective communication.
Tips on How to Communicate Better
Especially if you were promoted to management because you excelled as a technical contributor, you will have to work on how to communicate engagingly and concisely. You are no longer communicating with a group of your peers who can follow your specialized knowledge; you are now presenting to executives, team members or customers who don’t share your expertise.
You have to find a way to make them understand and get as excited about the topic as you are.
Based upon new supervisor training best practices, here are two tips on how to communicate with clarity, enthusiasm, and impact.
- Use Analogies
Give team members a familiar frame of reference for understanding something new. An analogy can serve as a mental model for comparing something they don’t yet understand with something they do.Here’s an example by Einstein who was trying to explain the new technology of radio:
“You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.”
Try this technique when you are explaining a new process or procedure, a major organizational change, or a new technology that all must embrace in order to reach team goals.
- Tell a Story
Storytelling is another way to connect with your listeners. People remember stories far better than they remember PowerPoint slides or data charts. A well told, relevant story will evoke an emotional response from your team members and will help them empathize with you in ways facts never could.
The best storytellers know their audience and exactly what they want to share with them. The best storytellers look to their life experiences for meaningful ways to illustrate their message. And the best stories are simple, have a hero, highlight a struggle, and end with a meaningful moral.
Instead of going glassy-eyed as they listen to a technical presentation of dry facts, listeners will be able to quickly put data in context and understand why they should care about what you have to say. Think about storytelling to better influence your listeners.
The Bottom Line
Communicate better as a new manager by adding analogies and stories to your communication repertoire. They will make your talks far more clear and compelling. Tune into your listeners to assess their engagement and understanding of what you want to convey. Are they really paying attention?
To learn more about how to communicate better as a new manager, download 3 Winning Communication Strategies for Leading Virtual and Remote Teams