10 Communication Skills Effective Managers Need Most
Good project managers are rare, and great project managers are even harder to find. What distinguishes highly effective managers are not only their technical knowledge and skills but how they communicate with others at all levels.
In this article, we will take a deeper look at ten characteristics that make good managers great and help them maintain engagement, motivate, and create a thriving work atmosphere for their employees. Optimizing these essential skills, managers will be definitely know how to improve team communication and get all things done.
Projects always carry risks and a certain level of uncertainty. Effective managers are aware of possible difficulties and look for constructive ways to deal with them. They listen to different sides without bias and consider various opinions before deciding what actions to take.
A great project manager knows the difference between confidence and arrogance. Manager’s arrogance suppresses the team and makes them feel uncomfortable when sharing ideas and opinions. Confidence in its turn is built on manager’s knowledge and skills and allows to make optimal decisions in high-pressure situations and lead the team towards shared goals.
#3. Trust and transparency
Trust is one of the most important qualities for leaders. If employees are unsure whether they can trust their manager, they will be less likely to share company goals and follow established rules and procedures. Tell people about your intentions in a clear way (unless this information is confidential), no hidden agendas or reading between lines.
#4. Leading by example
If you set certain rules, make sure you follow them yourself. Otherwise, if you say one thing and do the exact opposite, you can’t expect commitment of your employees. And everything you tell them after that will be treated with suspicion and doubt.
As a manager, you can’t be effective if you aren’t accessible. Your team and other stakeholders should know they can easily stop by for a quick chat and communicate with you without barriers. The ‘open door’ policy also gives you a better understanding of what’s happening in the company on a daily basis and what issues may need your urgent attention.
Projects don’t always go as planned. And when slips happen, the team needs an effective manager who knows how to motivate and boost team morale.
Remember that you become a motivational leader by motivating yourself – by striving toward excellence, by committing yourself to becoming everything that you are capable of becoming. This is how you grow and learn to inspire people to perform at their best.
One of the key traits of great managers is the ability to remain calm under pressure. Your team wants to be sure that if things go wrong, they can look to their leader who shows clear focus and remains agile.
Misunderstandings in the workplace cause productivity losses and unnecessary conflicts. Great managers don’t beat around the bush and know how to say exactly what they mean without being unpleasant. The simplest communication model is known as the 3W model:
- What: describe the situation and be specific.
- Why: describe the impact of what you’ve observed.
- Way: describe what you would like to see as a replacement behaviour.
Being a great manager means knowing how to adapt your communication based on what your audience needs. This includes your style and frequency of communication that varies for your employees and project sponsors.
Respect is the key to maintaining positive relationships. Show respect for others, listen to your employees, acknowledge their contribution and support their efforts to do a good job. Set high standards for yourself and people around you – make them see they have a leader who is determined to achieve great goals and make a difference.