Thursday, 10 July 2014

Are You Communicating with your Staff?

On a scale of 1-10, how well do you communicate with your team?
Do you communicate in a directive way, i.e. do you tell them what to do, or do you communicate in a motivational way, by asking them what they think they should do? A motivational leader or manager encourages people to think for themselves. Of course, a directive style does have its place. But if the building was on fire, this is not the time to be coming to a group decision! If you need something done in a particular way and you have an urgent deadline to meet then you need to get this across. There are ways to ask to bring your team onside, making sure they understand what needs doing and why.

What is your communication style?

Let us get away from the term manager and start thinking of ourselves as leaders.
The most successful leaders know that they don't have to do everything themselves, they just know that everything has to get done. Your whole role is about getting things done through others and for that you need great communication skills. You need to communicate your requirements in a motivating and empowering way.

Ask yourself:
How can I improve the skills of my team?
How do I know what they need to improve?
Have I ever asked them what they need to do a better job?
What can I do to be more in touch with my team?

Question: What is the secret to becoming an expert communicator?
Answer: Become an expert listener!

Become an expert listener and you will become an expert motivator.

If you would like to improve your communication skills so that you can better motivate your team, try this:
Grab a piece of paper and answer these questions to see how and where you can enhance your communication skills.

- Can you make small talk easily?
- How comfortable do you feel when meeting people for the first time?
- Can you a hold a conversation?
- If you had to speak in front of 50 people with 24 hours notice would you feel okay about it?
- Can you express your opinion in an objective manner without getting angry?
- Can you hold motivating conversations? Do you find this easy?
- How well can you communicate bad news?
- How well do you manage conflict in the office?
- Can you communicate effectively with people at all levels?

Have a look at your answers and see if there are any patterns that emerge. For example, you might be great at dealing with conflict and giving tough messages but when it comes to motivating people you just don't know how to do this. Or, you might feel comfortable when speaking in front of groups but haven't got a clue how to make small talk with just one person. Have a think about these and jot down some ideas of what you can do to improve your skills in each area.

Once you have some ideas of what you need to do to improve you communication skills, commit to yourself to take some specific action. Put together a plan and make commitments in your diary to follow through with this. Write yourself a goal so you have some definite measurable objectives and rate yourself regularly to see how close you are to achieving it.

Couple this with my SPADE criteria for goal setting and you will notice the difference as the time goes by.

Further to this, if you work in internal communication and would like to improve your strategic approach and gain an in-depth knowledge of the subject, have a look at our flexible Masters in Internal Communication Management programme, starting in September. 

Written by Yvonne Bleakley
Learning Consultant, Capita Learning & Development

No comments:

Post a Comment