Developing Managerial Effectiveness – the foundation is strong communication skills
There are many components to being an effective manager but communication must be the foundation. Without effective and strong communication skills, you cannot delegate, set direction, or build the necessary relationships to be an effective manager.
If you are building a house and the foundation is unstable, what happens during an earthquake? The house is going to be in jeopardy of collapsing. A good builder makes sure the foundation is strong and can support the structure being built on top of it. A good manager does the same thing by developing strong communication skills. By doing so, a foundation is built that can effectively weather different points of view which can cause conflict and other challenges that managers and their teams face each day.
A manager can provide effective communication by developing active listening skills, building trust and respect, and thru transparency – the building blocks of a strong communicator. Listening is an integral part in verbal communication and can have a major impact on managerial effectiveness. Active listening focuses the attention on the speaker and enables managers to hear new information, better understand different points of view, and provides opportunities for confirming people are on the same page. Trust and respect is necessary for good relationships and good relationships are more productive. Trust allows team members to be honest and open and to come to managers with concerns and questions. Transparency implies openness and effective managers share relevant information accurately and with clarity. Transparency can have a positive impact on engaging and motivating employees who in turn helps managers achieve their desired goals.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t need other skills to be effective as a manager. An effective manager needs to be adaptable to change and a good problem solver. Change is a constant and an effective manager is not only flexible and willing to embrace change but also explains what is happening and what the changes represent for the organization and employees. They can efficiently utilize resources to meet the team’s need and the goals of their organization. An effective manager is successful at getting the desired outcome and result. They need to understand the needs of their team, their customers, and their vendors and be able to create synergies among these different groups. An effective manager develops themselves as well as their teams and deals with situations fairly and with integrity.
We can see that it takes a variety of skills to achieve managerial effectiveness but without strong and effective communication skills, everything else is that much harder.
You can develop a great strategy on how to improve results within your department but if you cannot articulate that vision, how is your team going to execute it?
If you have the perfect team to complete a project that you hand selected to ensure you had all the skills necessary, how are you going to get their buy in and set direction without proper communication skills.
You cannot delegate, set direction, or build the necessary relationships if you aren’t a good communicator. If people don’t understand what you want them to do or don’t feel comfortable asking questions or coming to you for help, performance will suffer.
In summary, there a number of important skills that are needed to achieve managerial effectiveness, but none are more important than communication.
This great article is one in a huge series which tackles the 6 Biggest Challenges Leaders face according to theCentre For Creative Leaderships Report published 2013 Don’t Miss Out! Sign up here to be notified of our subsequent issues and posts