b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: What Are You Trying To Say?

6/23/2006

 

What Are You Trying To Say?


One of the biggest reasons managers fail is because they’re lousy communicators. These people will never rise to the level of a true leader.

Good leaders are individuals who know how to communicate. They are able to work with their employees to drive results. Part of what makes them a leader is the ability to listen. A manager that listens will hear the “true” meaning behind comments and adapt to them appropriately. Just as subordinates need to know what kinds of managers they have in order to provide them with what they need, leaders need to do this for their employees. If the employees have what they need, whether that’s the necessary tools to do their job, motivation, or whatever, they will want to do that much more if they feel valued.

So stop and ask yourself if your message is conveyed clearly to your staff. Is what you’re saying the same as what your people are hearing? Are you listening to them? Step beyond the boundaries of your office walls and actually interact with your team. Be open to their ideas and suggestions.

In addition to communicating with your team, know how to communicate with other departments. Listen to them too. Succeeding in business is all about forging alliances. However, in order to do this, you need to know how to talk to people!

One time I sat in a meeting with my supervisor and a director from a different department. We sat in the director’s office waiting for members of his team to arrive. My supervisor charged forward on her mission. The other director asked her to wait another minute until the others arrived. She paused for him to speak and then continued right where she left off, completely ignoring his remark. So when 5 minutes later he ushered her out of his office she wondered why he was “so rude” to her. I mean, REALLY.

Communicate, folks. If you’re in a management position and you deal with people you’re going to need this skill, I promise.

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