Communication Skills Of A Good Manager

Communication Skills Training  is a vital component of streamlining correspondence within any organization regardless of what size they are or what business they are into. Such soft skills training programs equip the people that matter with the skills that matter even more. Even Fortune 500 Companies understand this well.

Every employee has at least one story of working under a manager who was just a poor communicator. I have my own story too. It was a long time ago, but the emotional wounds from the experience make me feel like it was only yesterday. The manager I worked under was, by all polite standards, an enigma. He wasn’t clear about what his expectations were, his feedback (whether positive or negative) was always vague and ambiguous and his instructions were confusing to say the least. Simply put, he had poor communication skills. This caused problems in every area of his job – poor rapport with his subordinates, lack of camaraderie with his peers and animosity with his superiors. Surprisingly, his stint lasted longer than it should have. My guess is that it took the company a few years to figure out if whether he was so smart that they couldn’t figure him out or if they were so dumb that he couldn’t get through to them. Clarity eventually won the battle and he left. But his departure left such a huge ‘crater’ of confusion that the entire company revamped its method, mode and policy for communication across the board. In the aftermath, the new communication policy was VERY clear!

So what communication skills should a good manager have anyway? What makes him a good communicator? Managers carry a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders that encompass actual job responsibilities, manage production output and quality, marshaling personnel and resources and all the while keeping the whole game within the satisfactory limits of the administration’s watchful gaze. Lets look at a few aspects of good communication that a manager should keep in mind:

• Managers with good communication skills make sure they are very clear about their goals, expectations and vision.

• They give clear and consistent feedback through the whole process of execution so that the required parameters of performance or quality are adhered to with minimum margin of error.

• They communicate any progress or deficiency clearly to higher levels of authority so appropriate decisions can be made accordingly.

• However the work culminates, they make sure to give adequate encouragement and feedback to the team on a job well done, inspiring a spirit of excellence for the next time around.

 

For more information on Communication Skills Training, please refer to this article:

 The Science of Non verbal communication 

Handling Difficult Conversations – A Leadership Essential 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Feedback Constructive?

Most managers would agree that one of the most challenging tasks for a manger is to give constructive feedback and ensure the team member take appropriate action. Effective solutions to such challenges are addressed in our Performance Appraisal Training and Leadership Training programs. The challenge is not so much in giving the feedback but in making it constructive. It is common to hear feedback that is vague and contradictory. For example: “Shyam you have put in a lot of work on this project, but I feel….” This is a classic feedback gaffe. While the first part of the sentence is an appreciation, the second part is a criticism. Feedback that uses ‘but’, ‘however’ and ‘although’ mostly evoke mixed feelings and spoils the chances of taking corrective actions. So, how does one really give constructive feedback?
“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
Effective Leadership involves understanding why people resist critical feedback. It is then, lot easier to give constructive feedback. Neuroscientists have found that our brain is designed to resist negative feedback. Our brain acts as a defense mechanism and protects us from threats to our ego and self-esteem.
The main objective of performance appraisal is to help people grow and develop. So create an environment of discovery where people discover their areas of improvement. Here are few steps that can help you give constructive feedback, especially during performance appraisals.
Be in control of your own emotions. This will help in giving feedback that does not come across as a threat.
1. Prepare the recipient’s mind for feedback. It is important here to understand the science behind resistance to negative feedback. The amygdala, a very small part of the brain near the thalamus, hijacks the rational brain as it senses danger and triggers the fight, flight or freeze response. In order for the recipient not to perceive danger, it is important for the person to get the permission from the recipient to give the feedback. This prepares the mind to receive the information without being threatened.
2. Use the technique of feed-forward in your performance dialogue. Before giving feedback ask the recipient these questions:
1. What are your thoughts on how you handled the situation?
2. What did you do well?
3. What could you have done better?
Responding to questions help them overcome amygdala hijack and gets the pre-frontal neo-cortex, the thinking part of the brain, to respond. This ensures that they are now ready for feedback.
4. The feedback should focus only on the area that needs improvement and not on the person. Avoid judgmental language and display empathy with the body language and tone of voice that shows concern. It is important to avoid sarcasm while giving feedback.
5. End the feedback with a mutually agreed upon action plan. Here again, it is important to allow the recipient to design his own action plan as he/she has to own it and commit to the actions. The person giving feedback can ask questions that will enable the recipient to explore various options.
Managers will lead teams more adroitly only if they realize that an open mind is a must for receiving constructive feedback; the objective being, to create an opportunity for people to improve and grow.Understanding the brain science of constructive feedback will help people move seamlessly from a state of impasse to a state of insight. David Rock, in his article, ‘Managing with the Brain in Mind’ explains this with great thoroughness. Being insightful allows effective action planning. Implementing the action plan extensively, forms a habit. Giving constructive feedback is an integral part of our Leadership Training program to ensure their team cultivates productive habits.
For more such interesting articles please see the link below:

Empathy – A Necessary Trait

Shifting Limiting Mindsets – A Leadership Essential

Authenticity – A Leadership Essential

Three Simple Tips to Better Business Writing

The internet changed the world in more ways than we can imagine. With the power of the web, we can not only access information with the simple click of a button but we can also transmit information, whether it is upload a photo or share a document, just as easily. But the biggest impact the internet had is in the area of communication. With the advent of email, letter writing has virtually become obsolete and long gone are the days when a person had to wait for weeks to get a letter from their family across the ocean. Writing has continued to be the staple form of communication though. And in the business world, there is a clear set of unwritten rules that actually even dictate how writing ought to take place. Hence business writing skills training is an important corporate training program. In this blog we will look at 3 simple areas where some basic business writing skills are needed:

Clarity

Being clear is one of the most important aspects of business writing. Often business documents or articles tend to use sophisticated jargon or terminology for the sake of sounding professional or eloquent. But if that takes away from comprehending the article well, it has not served it’s purpose in communicating its message. Longer sentences must be avoided when shorter sentences will work just as well.

Simplicity

Especially when writing emails, it is better to get straight to the point. If the opening paragraph doesn’t get to the heart of the matter concisely, it is better to start over. Business correspondence must be direct so that the intended message drives home instantly. It helps to ask yourself, before you compose the email, what exactly you want the person reading this to do and if that comes across in a simple manner.

Etiquette

There is such a thing as professional etiquette of communication even if it is over the internet via email or other mediums. Short-hand must be avoided as must other slang like smiley faces. It is also considered polite to not over use capitalization or exclamation marks to make a point.
Business Writing Training programs are employed regularly by companies to help equip their employees to adhere to current corporate standards of business communication.

For more information on  Email Etiquette Training and Business Writing Training programs, please refer to these articles/blogs:

Essentials for Effective Communication

Why Communication Skills are the Epitome of Human Progress

 

3 Tips To Improve Creative Thinking

We’ve all seen those commercials that simply blow us away with their innovative perspective and creative ideas. Surely people must have sat around for weeks or months just thinking through stuff until something magically came together and then, “Eureka!” a brilliantly creative idea is born! While this is mostly how creative thinking skills are developed, there are actual steps that most people can take to improve or bolster their creativity. Sometimes we tend to think that some people are creative and others are not but the truth is that everyone has a certain level or degree of creativity that they are born with. These just manifest differently. This is what we leverage upon in our creativity training program.

In this blog we will look at 3 things that anyone can do to help get their creative juices flowing…or creating!

Self-Made Restrictions

History has it that Dr.Seuss wrote ‘Green Eggs & Ham’ after betting that he could not produce a story in less that 50 words! There is some insight to this that we can pick up on. Most people when trying to do something new choose to take the path of least resistance by simply building on pre-existing ideas or concepts. But this stifles creativity and doesn’t encourage it. Sometimes placing restrictions on oneself to achieve something forces us to be creative in getting around the challenges.

Staying Positive

Studies in brain patterns and activity has shown that creativity is at its highest when the person is feeling positive or good in general. Negativity is a damper on creativity. Getting yourself to a positive frame of mind is relatively easier to do and various things like reminiscing on good times, laughing and doing energizing things all help to get there.

Thinking Of Others

Research has shown that when ‘outward thinking’ is crucial to the process of creativity. In other words people are the most creative when they think their work is going to help or have a positive impact on other people and will be cause for greater gain or benefit. Trying to be creative when you are the sole beneficiary of your creativity has been shown to not be conducive to the very process of being creative. Being creative entails having a positive impact for the greater good!

Creativity Training is an important leadership training program that equips employees to not be conformed to the rigid patterns of past systems but encourage them to think out of the box and come up with novel trailblazing ideas for the common good.

For more information on our various training programs dealing with creative thinking, visit the following links:

Creative Thinking through Outbound Training

Essentials of any Leadership Training Program

What it Takes to Develop the Leader in You.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Invaluable Soft Skills For The Workplace

Soft skills or people skills are the driving force behind any company. Gone are the days when a resume was the ‘end –all’ for the job and a person’s academic and professional qualifications were all that mattered. In today’s business world, where markets are more global and the world has become a smaller place due to media and technology, credentials and qualifications don’t cut it any more. Today a company needs ‘people skills’, ‘relationship skills’ or more popularly called, ‘soft skills’. Hence soft skills training is highly sought after by corporates.

In this blog we will look at the 3 fundamental types of soft skills necessary for the workplace:

Efficient Communication

This is probably the most valuable of the soft skill topics that companies are looking for. The ability to efficiently and effectively propagate ideas across the spectrum sets an employee apart. Good articulation in speech along with being an excellent listener goes a long ways. Appropriate use of body language also counts toward this.

Self-Confidence

While nobody likes an obnoxious know-it-all, a person who has a good degree of self-confidence and self-esteem is certainly seen as an asset. The ability to believe in oneself regardless of the situation or people around us is a strong trait that companies find particularly appealing. This will also determine the confidence with which one troubleshoots or resolves conflicts that may arise unexpectedly. Of course mere self-confidence devoid of any actual skills or knowledge is definitely counter productive.

Team Player

And that of course brings us to a very important soft skill – the ability to get along with others. Soft skills after all have to do with people and if one cannot get along with coworkers, the concept of people skills becomes a moot point. Not to mention, having the ability to work closely and efficiently with people develops a sense of camaraderie and unity that is healthy for any organization. This is often the crux of professional development training that companies invest in for their employees.

Soft Skills Training is an important aspect of corporate training which helps to develop invaluable skills sets within an employee such as those listed above that will help to enhance and improve their abilities and efficiency at work.

For further information on Soft Skills, please visit:

The Cost of Clarity in Communication

How Business Etiquette Really Matters