Effective communication skills in management are critical. From conducting interviews to sending out important emails and memos, all the way down to simple interaction with your employees, effective communication plays a key role in the workplace. I would like to provide an overview on some of the skills necessary in order to have successful communication in your place of work.
Number one, you must use active listening. Active listening allows you to focus on who you are listening to, whether it’s in a meeting, or a one-on-one discussion, and the ability to hear what the individual is saying. In an interview setting, active listening will permit you to hear the skills the prospective employee will bring to the table. The listening skills required during an interview require much of your attention, but at the same time also pay close attention to body language. Listening for inconsistency and questionable statements. This is where taking notes can be a good habit to form.
Active listening is not the same as hearing. An active listener will make an effort to hear and understand the message. Give your speaker your full attention. It is important to block out any distractions. And instead of trying to guess what is about to be said or plan what you are going to say, concentrate on what the person is saying at the time. Let the person speaking know that you are actively listening by keeping good eye contact and responding appropriately.
In times of conflict, good listening skills can be a good tool to resolve the problem. Allowing a person share their problem without interruption will help them realize that you, as a manager, have respect for them and their concerns. This is half the battle. They will be more inclined to listen to what you have to say if you have heard them. An effective way to prove that you have listened is to restate their concern. You do not have to repeat what they have said word for word, but if you say “I understand that…” and then state the main idea they will know that you have truly heard their side.
Of course listening is very important part of communication, but it is only one part. If your response, as the manager, is not adequate even after truly understanding a problem then your conflict may become much bigger. After you have listened to one side, before making any decisions (especially promises!) gather as much creditable information as you can. Learn to ask the right questions to get the best resolution.