8 Communication Skills Every Manager Should Actively Work On

As a manager and leader, communicating with others is a huge part of your job. Whether you’re interacting with your employees, meeting with clients and stakeholders, or relaying information to other business leaders, you must know how to communicate efficiently and effectively. But no matter how strong your skills are currently and no matter how long you’ve been at your job, there is always room for improving your communication skills. Here are eight that every manager should actively work on.

1. Active Listening

You can listen to someone or you can actively listen, which means ensuring you’re fully present while the other person talks. You can do this by paying attention to their body language, making eye contact, repeating someone’s words back to them, and asking questions. It’s also important to avoid interrupting someone when they speak and ensure they have your full attention. This makes people feel valued when they interact with you.

2. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s point of view. Knowing how to convey that you have empathy through your communication skills is a must for managers. By doing so, your employees and colleagues know they can come to you when they have a problem, and you’ll do your best to help them resolve it, which can help build trust.

3. Clarity

When you communicate with others, both verbally and through written communication, it’s important to be clear so that they fully understand what you’re saying. Use concise language, and get straight to the point. If you want the other person to do something, be as specific as possible about that task. Avoid using big words or business jargon that everyone might not understand.

4. Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication

What you don’t say can be just as important as what you do say. Make sure your tone of voice and body language match the emotions that you are trying to convey when you speak. Make eye contact with your audience.

5. Conflict Management and Resolution

As a leader in your organization, you will encounter conflict, and it may be up to you to resolve it. That means you’ll need to communicate in a way that shows you are impartial. Active listening can also be a part of conflict management and resolution.

6. Adaptability

As a manager, you’ll communicate with a range of different people, and you probably won’t talk to them all the same way. For example, you may need to show your employees that you’re an effective leader through your communication, but when talking to a client or customer, you may be more focused on customer service and sales. You’ll also discover that each member of your team responds best to different ways of communication. Remaining adaptable and understanding the unique communication needs of everyone you encounter can help build relationships.

7. Public Speaking

Managers often speak to groups, whether you’re holding a meeting with your team or reporting to your bosses, and even if this group is fairly small, it’s important to have good public speaking skills. Avoid reading what you have to say, make eye contact, know your audience, and add some personality and even humor to what you say.

8. Motivation

Managers and leaders often double as cheerleaders, which means you must know how to speak to your team in a way that motivates them. This could mean boosting morale when the team feels low, or providing clear instructions so everyone understands what to do.