Who is a great manager? Well, this question can have many answers but anyone running a management training program or management training course will tell you that – A great manager is a great communicator. This does not mean however, that all the other skills that a manager possesses are redundant. That is not what it means. But, unless you are a good communicator you cannot be a good manager.
Management training programs and management training courses will point out that good communication skills are of paramount importance to a manager. A manager has to be a great communicator if he wants to become a great manager. A great manager is one who has a vision. But, this vision will stay just that unless you communicate it properly. Communicating a vision doesn’t mean you have large message boards with your vision written on them placed at strategic locations. It might be effective to catch attention but to retain that attention you are going to have to do something else. You have to make sure that your team understands your vision and shares your vision with you. Apart from articulating your vision good communication is essential to conducting business on a day to day basis.
Most management training programs and management training courses will focus on the communication skill. It is important to understand that conversation is not communication. A good communication through conversation takes place when
o You ensure that your message is understood
o You must receive and understand the message sent to you
o You have some control over the flow of the conversation.
So, communication skill is not just about speaking but listening as well. Good communication should avoid ambiguity. If there is a chance that a message might be misunderstood then it should be clarified. Remember, that words often have different meanings in different context and cultures. For instance dry country can mean without water or without alcohol; suspenders can keep up pants as well as stockings. So, it depends on the context and the culture. How can you avoid this? Here are some tips to do that
o Repeat the message for confirmation
o If necessary write back the message
o Give proper background before speaking. This will make people aware as to which context you are going to speak about.
o Similarly, ask others about the context in which they are speaking
If you have attended management training classes then you would have had a session on management training. Here you would have been told that just like any other activity you have to plan and prepare for your conversation. State clearly and firmly; whatever it is that you are going to say. Do not lose your temper if someone else does. Be assertive. When asking question assess the situation carefully and depending on the kind of information that you want ask either open ended or close ended questions. If all you need is confirmation, then close ended questions are enough. But, if you need more information then you have to go in for open ended questions.
Communication is a two way street. And this is something that all management gurus agree on. Check on any management training manual or book any you will see that this point is being made. So, just like others listen to what you say, you have to listen to what others say. Also, nothing is more intimidating than silence. People become nervous of silence and try to fill it up with information. So, this is a great way of gathering information. At the end of any conversation summarize what has been said. Also, emphasize the outcome of the meeting.
Management meetings are an integral part of a manager’s life. The meeting can be with your superiors or subordinates. For each type of meeting your preparation and presentation has to be different. Meetings can be formal or informal. Whatever type of meeting, you have to be prepared if you want the meeting to be effective.
All management training programs or management courses specify that communication skills are one of the most important skills of a manager. So, if you want to be a great manager, then be a great communicator.
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