Communication Hacks for Managers
As a manager, having a bag of tricks that includes communication hacks can help you boost employee engagement, get shy employees to talk to you, and help show your employees that you’re someone they can come to when they need some help.
Communication is the backbone of all workplaces – big and small. Without it, nothing would ever get done.
So, how can you communicate well with the rest of your workplace?
The answer is simple, if a little confusing to some:
By being emotionally present in every conversation. Whether you’re talking to someone face-to-face, over the phone, or by email, communication is an artform mastered by all good managers. A skill that turns decent managers into great managers and enables your employees to feel safer talking to you about their problems; both inside and outside of work.
What this ultimately means is, with communication hacks, you can reduce absenteeism, enable a greater amount of communication in the workplace, up productivity rates, and have happier employees, overall.
All that’s missing is a part of your communication skills.
Below you’ll find several communication hacks that you can easily incorporate into your every day managerial life at work.
Develop trust and be present in the conversation
When you communicate with your employee, focus entirely on that person; what they’re doing, what they’re saying, their body language.
When someone feels safe talking to you, because you listen, because you empathise, they are more likely to come to you with their problems.
You can gain influence in the workplace by putting yourself forward as someone your employees can talk to.
A little workplace welfare goes a long way.
Your intent should be to develop trust by being more present and aware of your employees’ thoughts and feelings.
You should be letting them see that you’re genuinely interested in what they’re saying.
You can do this by stopping whatever you’re doing and focusing entirely on them or taking them out of the office setting for a cup of coffee to talk.
Notice your own body language and tone of voice
Non-verbal communication is one of the biggest clues to figuring out how a person is really feeling.
Most people can see tense or disinterested body language straight away – and that means your employees can see it.
Non-verbal communication is the quickest way to put the person you’re talking to at ease.
Smile with your whole face, let your smile or grin reach your eyes.
Smiling with your eyes is warn and communicates to others that they have your full attention and that they can be open with you.
Match your body language with what you’re saying. Always keep your body language open, even when you’re stressed – don’t cross your arms or legs, stay relaxed and welcoming.
And finally, watch your spacing. Don’t lurk into another person’s space, as this can be very off-putting to your workers, especially if any of them are particularly anxious.
A respectful distance should be maintained at all times.
Don’t hide behind your screen
Though you’re a manager, you should endeavour to spent time outside of your office so that your employees get to know you.
The worst thing in the workplace is being told who your manager is, but never actually getting to know them because you don’t know who they are or what they’re like.
Start “doing the rounds” in your office, by taking some time during the day to check on your workers and make sure everyone is okay.
Reply to your emails, but offer to come and chat to your employees at their desks for more complex problems.