Strategies for Effective Managerial Communication and Listening
Strategies for effective managerial communication and listening Interpersonal communication plays an important role not only in our personal life but also in business field since interpersonal communication is the procedure that we can receive information and feeling from someone immediately and then to lead us to express our opinions, feeling, and emotion back.
According to Hartley (as cited by Sethi & Seth, 2009), he defined interpersonal communication as having three characteristics. First, communication is from one person to another. Another characteristic is communication which is face-to-face. Last, both the form and content of the communication reflect the personal characteristic of individuals, their social roles, and relationship. Thus, effective skills in communication are necessary to maintain and increase the quality of our lives and relationships with our family, friends and coworkers.
If we cannot communicate effectively, we may have misunderstandings within relationships. Besides, it would be very easy to become confused, frustrated and disappointed simply if we are unable to communicate appropriately with someone. Likewise, in business management, the process of communication between managers and employees would dramatically affect morale, teamwork, productivity, employee retention, and customer relation, and so on.
Therefore, to sustain long term relationship with either employees or customers and to reduce managerial frustration about subordinate error, it is extremely significant for a manager to understand what and how the managerial communication strategies and skills can be applied effectively when interacting with colleagues, employees, stockholders, and the public as well. The purpose of this paper is to give some suggested strategies which can be implemented and applied in communication management.
First of all, since normal managers may mostly spend their time on assigning tasks to their subordinates or transmitting information, most managers are deficient in listening skills. Besides, some managers may tend to emphasize their roles to be followed, rather than accepting other perspectives or paradigm shifts from their employees. In these communication processes, communication cannot be very effective for either a manager or a subordinate. Thus, to cultivating a listening skill is profoundly important to be implemented in the communication process by a manager.
According to Covey (1989), he stated that the habit five “seek first to understand, then to be understood” is the key to effective interpersonal communication. He also interpreted that we should listen to understand with empathy and appreciation, not intending to reply quickly. Even though we usually seek first to be understood, it is more significant to try to get into the person’s frame of mind and think as they are thinking. He also mentioned that when we take an open mind to be genuinely influenced by a person, we can obtain a totally new view and thinking of life.
Therefore, the effective listening strategy can be suggested for a manager is that a manager can learn to listen deeply to other subordinates, he or she will discover tremendous difference in perception and sustain relationship with subordinates, instead of continuous speaking or responding directly. Besides, to communicate employees effectively, there are several ways can be established and encouraged. First of all, communication with employees may be improved if the manager is aware of their feeling and opinion.
Opinion poll is a good method which can be used by managers to examine or investigate whether or not their employees are working in favorable conditions or unfavorable ones. For example, employees may provide something which needs to be improved immediately in the company. Employees may tell something in the opinion polls if they may be afraid of speaking with their managers directly. Eventually, the opinion polls will help the manager to understand the satisfaction within the employees and how to improve and facilitate communication process in the company.
Additionally, because employees are sometimes more attentive to communication from another employees than from their employers, the other most efficient tool for effective communications is gossiping secretary since gossiping secretary would be more considerably faster than conducting opinions polls which are possibly held monthly, quarterly, or even seasonly. Moreover, it is also helpful to directly communicate with the natural leaders who can be apparently founded as a natural leader in all groups of employees.
Communications with all employees can often be improved if the manager can communicate first with the company’s natural leaders since the natural leaders would basically understand how current employees’ feeling and thinking is. Since communication skills do not merely consist of listening and speaking, written skills are also play an important role in communication. However, most managers may describe a thing by showing too many terminology and phraseology. It would be too much complicated to read and understand for their employees.
Employees may neglect the good intention of written message because unclearly written communication may have a tendency to frustrate employees. Therefore, “Keep it simple” is a good rule to follow when preparing written communications. (Duft, n. d. ) Additionally, the most demanding problem for managers is that they need to communicate with the general public. If the managers lack communication skills, the firm may apparently lose customers and lose business. Thus, it is also essential for managers to improve their ability to communicate with the public.
There are some guidelines that managers should strive to follow. First of all, the message should attract, or at least maintain a receiver’s attention. Besides, the message should be easy to remember. Third, the message should convey a favorable image of the business and its personnel. The other guideline is that the message should be meaningful and believable. (Duft, n. d. ) However, there are some barriers to impact effective interpersonal communication. (Sethi & Seth, 2009). First of all, when people communicate an idea, the receiver can feel how the sender perceives the subject matter.
Different people may have different feeling on construing the messages. Intense emotions may make effective communication more difficulty since the receivers may understand the sender’s words or actions wrongly. The sender should avoid reacting to the subject matter if the receiver is upset or angry since the receiver may not able to think rationally in the communication. Besides, the sender may manipulate the information when communicating to the receiver. People sometimes tend to shape the message to make it sound favorable to the receiver.
Thus, the sifting information may deceive the receiver into thinking or into something favorable. The receiver may be disappointed or upset if founding out that information has been sifted. Additionally, it is likely to be perplexing for a receiver to receive excessive information about the same subject matter. For instance, we may not clearly understand if we have 20 e-mails on the same theme, each email includes some part of the theme. Instead, it would be better for the receiver to have a single e-mail from the sender that emphasize on clear information which the receiver needs.
Thus, it is important to just take in required information since too much irrelevant information will exceed the receiver’s capacity and hard to read and organize it. Moreover, effective interpersonal communication may be impacted by people who are from different cultures since they probably could not comprehend each other’s cultures and misunderstand the true meaning of what each other is trying to express the feeling. Last but not least, the receiver may not familiar with other’s argot or jargon words, so the sender should avoid using argot during the communication.
Argot may affect communication ineffectively. The communication barriers may also occur in business when a manager tries to convey information to employees and customers. Thus, there are some methods to avoid and overcome the barriers. First of all, the receiver would be able easily understand what the sender is saying by structuring own language and uncomplicated sentences. Moreover, since sensitive issue may occur during the conversation, both senders and receivers should control own emotion and take rationally when they are communicating.
Besides, it is also essential for a receiver to place themselves in the sender’s position and try to comprehend exactly what the sender would like to express and convey. To make sure the receiver’s understanding is also important. We can confirm our receiver by using closed-ended question such as “Did you understand what I have just said? ” or “Is what I said clear to you? ” The way can make sure that the receiver has completely understood what is being communicated. (Sethi & Seth, 2009). As a result, most managers spend the largest proportion of their time commutating with employees and customers.
Cultivating and improving their communicative ability is extremely important since the communicative skill is a fundamental element of planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling. To achieve an effective managerial communication, a manager should be aware of what their subordinate and employee concern and require instead of insisting on own perspectives. Thus, a manager should have a good listening skill to first understand what the senders try to convey and express and comprehend more other paradigms.
Besides, a manager should transmit information clearly and rationally. Do not make too complicated information and sentences because it is hard to read and understand. Properly controlling emotion during communication is also necessary for a manager since showing too much emotion may lead the receivers have other different feeling although the manager is not intentional. Nevertheless, a manager may spend most time thinking strategies on how to make firm performance well and how to manage business successfully.
Therefore, a manager should better spend time on realizing the strategies for the managerial communication. If a manager is deficient in managerial communication skills, he or she may not conduct business well and effectively.