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Avoid These 4 Communication Pitfalls if You Want to Be a Good Manager

June 10, 2022

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Strong communication skills are the hallmark of any good manager. Being a good manager and an effective communicator will have a significant impact on your team culture. When you communicate with your team in a positive way, it has the power to encourage, motivate, and create strong morale. When you are clear about expectations, you can get everyone on the same page, understanding and embracing their defined role. Studies show that a learning culture encourages initiative, increases productivity, prioritizes professional development, heightens employee engagement, and increases retention rates. These are all things that are foundational to a company's success. 

Manager Communication For Synergy & Productivity 

Manager communication with their team needs to be clear and consistent to be effective. There are certain pitfalls that can derail your career as a good manager very quickly. Below is a list of the top few pitfalls to avoid if you want to lead a synergistic and productive team.

Pitfall #1– Not Prioritizing Professional Growth and Development. 

Managers often get caught up in the daily rhythms of the job. They focus all of their communications with their employees as they are, in their current roles. To create a learning culture, be intentional in prioritizing professional development. Create opportunities for employees to lead certain projects, promote mentorship programs, and encourage participation in activities that will allow them to explore their potential. When employees feel like management is supportive of their career goals, they feel valued. When employees feel valued, they are more intrinsically motivated. 

Pitfall #2– Being Unapproachable To Their Team.

When employees are hesitant to talk to their managers, the result is a mistake-laden workplace. Whether they perceive you as unapproachable because you are too busy, uninterested, or intimidating, employee engagement will decline and morale will suffer. Consider implementing an open door policy with your employees. This demonstrates that you are accessible, value their concerns and opinions, and want to be supportive. Or, if it is more suitable for your daily structure, you could set up regular one-on-one meetings with your team to check in and address any issues. 

Pitfall #3– Micromanaging.

Micromanaging has been shown to create a hostile working environment, low employee engagement, and a high turnover rate. Micromanagers tend to be very controlling and untrusting of their team. They refuse to delegate, which snuffs out creativity, collaboration, and initiative. They demoralize employees by questioning all of their decisions, scrutinizing all of their work, and needing to be looped in on every communication involving ongoing projects. If you want to be a true leader in your management role, you need to allow your team the freedom to learn and grow in their roles, as well. 

Advice For First Time Managers

Effective communication breaks down barriers, demonstrates trust, and creates employee engagement. A collaborative work environment promotes a learning culture where every employee benefits. Managers need to prioritize professional development throughout their careers to become the best leaders they can be. If you are just starting out in a leadership role, we want to offer this sage advice for first-time managers:

  • Meet regularly with your team one-on-one to get familiar with them as individuals. This dedicated time will help you learn their strengths and weaknesses. It will give you insight into their goals so you can offer them appropriate opportunities for professional development. It affords employees the freedom to talk about their thoughts, ideas, and opinions openly who might otherwise not be comfortable sharing in a group setting. 
  • Be transparent with your team. Try not to keep details from them or compartmentalize information. When you are open with them, it creates trust. When trust is established, it’s much easier to motivate and encourage one another. Everyone begins to work toward a common goal. 
  • Ask for feedback from your employees. After all, this is the best gauge of your current performance. It also demonstrates that you value your team’s opinion and want to improve for your sake and theirs. 

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