Good Communication A Key Management Skill for Effective Delegation

September 28, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

The need for effective communication in managing a business unit or team of people seems obvious. Given my observations of managers and executives over many years, the obvious is  often a blind spot. Where management leadership is concerned, the issue of effective communications is one of those “you know it when you see it” kinda things, or we should say “hear it.”

Given the importance of management communication effectiveness, why is it not practiced at the needed level?

To a great extent, the effectiveness of a manager’s communication, or lack there of, is an area that is hard to see in yourself. Others are effected by poor communication but may be reluctant to point it out to the manager. When something goes wrong in managing a project or assignment, the communications problems impacting effective delegation, for example, are often blamed on the employee or other factors. Managers rarely look in the mirror and uncover their communication issues.

So, what is this elusive effective communications skill and how do you improve upon it? A manager’s ability to utilize effective communication as a management skill is best described as their ability to express their ideas and directions to others clearly. It is the ability to describe things, tell people things, ask people things in a clear way. When this expression is the most effective, where it moves people to action and solves problems, it is done with leadership command and motivating actions. Command here is more of a sureness and confidence than a “you gotta do it because I tell you to” sort of thing.

From a skill point of view, and management skills development perspective, it is the need for communication to have the power of rhetoric. That is to say, the language and delivery  flows, is persuasive and has poise of delivery. This public and interpersonal communication is a learned skill. We can not all be as eloquent as say Lincoln, Obama or Churchill, but in managing a team, we don’t have to be. What is needed here is appropriateness to the task at hand.

On a basic management level, when the need to motivate the team or give direction and delegate assignments effectively is concerned, there are some basic actions managers can take to be much more effective.

1. Plan important communications. Where projects and assignments are concerned, what needs to be communicated and How are things that can be thought through ahead of time.

2. Define how to best Express your communication. Managers who take just a little time to think about how to wrap the what needs to be communicated in the appropriate expression will be more effective than those who do not. Are details important? Is there a sense of urgency that needs to be expressed? Does motivation to action or performance need to be expressed?

3. Make sure the necessary details are clear. Many assignments are botched simply because the manager did not articulate the needed actions and circumstances of an assignment clearly. Assume nothing. Plan the everything.

4. Look at communications through the eyes of the employee. Scaling and crafting your delegation communications in a way that best fits the experience and personality of a given employee is a win-win. As a manager, you may know what you want, and you may know what you think, but will the person receiving communications? Remember, “people don’t know what they don’t know.” What do they need to know to be fully apprised of the assignment they are to undertake.

Managers who start with these four techniques will put themselves in a much better position to make their expressions of work and direction effective. People will execute better and perform at a higher level, when the communication they receive are clear, compelling and action oriented.

Plan-Delegate-Manage is an organization that strives to bring real world experience, proven skills training and valuable delegation tools to managers around the world. You will receive free tools and information of significant value for today’s management world. To learn more about Management By Delegation, visit our Website

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