The way you talk to your team has a huge effect on them, and the way they work. Money Crashers uses the example of a manager who wrote a memo to their team, detailing changes that had to be made to an ailing company. The memo concluded with the threat, ‘things must change, or else.’ The result? Employees didn’t know whether to hang on or just quit, and morale nosedived as they felt they being blamed for issues that weren’t their fault.
As you can see, you’ll need to watch the way you talk to and with your staff. Here are some tips that will help you communicate effectively, and get the most out of your team.
Take A Step Back
Before you say anything, take a step back and consider the situation. Your emotions can make you quick to react, but you may jump to the wrong conclusion.
Top manager Richard Harrison from Revieweal says, ‘Before I say anything to my team, I try and look at the situation from every angle. Sometimes it can look like the team is at fault, where in fact workplace policy, or another department entirely, have caused the problem. If I stop and think first, I stop myself from jumping to conclusions.’
Monster recommends trying to be positive in whatever you have to say. Now, you can’t always do this if you have to discipline a team member, for example. Most of the time though, it’s a good idea to stay as positive as possible.
Think of this as taking the high road. Avoid being negative, badmouthing others, or generally being down on others. The more positive you are, the more energised and receptive your team will be to your ideas.
See Your Employees As Well Rounded People
It’s hard to remember when you’re at work, but the people you work with go home at the end of the day, and live their lives away from the office. Some managers make the mistake of talking to their tams as if they don’t have lives outside of the company. This can put them off, and even turn them against you.
HR Manager Tim Power from Australian Reviewer says ‘When I talk with my team, I try to remember that they’re busy people, just like I am. If you can respect their lives and needs, they’ll respect you in turn.’
Watch How You Communicate In Writing
In most workplaces, you’ll find that you do a lot of your communication through the written word. Whether it’s emails or IMs, you’ll be talking to your teams through a screen rather than in person. This is especially true if your team works remotely. This means that you have to be especially careful of how you communicate with them.
Whenever you write a message, take the time to read it through a few times. How could this be taken? If it could possibly be taken a different way, or even cause offence, edit your message before you send it. There are communication tools out there, such as State Of Writing and Top Canadian Writers, that can help you edit and improve your writing before you send it out.
Focus On The Problem
The memo in the introduction was a bad example of communication, as it attacked the employees’ personalities, rather than the problem at hand. As a manager, you may find that you get on with some staff better than others. This is just a fact of life, as some personalities work well together, and others clash.
This means that when talking to your staff, you should focus on the problem at hand. Don’t make reference to the personality of the person you’re speaking to, as it can easily be taken the wrong way. Instead, work on the problem together, and find a way to solve it together.
Most of communication with subordinates is finding a way to relate with them. You may be the manager, but you still need to make an effort to give them what they need in conversation. The more you think about their needs, the more they’ll work to help you achieve your goals. Use these tips to help you get the most out of your communications.
Rachel Summers is a freelance writer whose passion is helping students get the most out of their learning journey. She started out as a writer and journalist in the newspaper industry, including UK Top Writers, before breaking out to go freelance and follow her own passions. Her writing is designed to help you get the most out of college.