Good communication is an essential management skill.

Graham Andrewartha | Director| MCA-group

Without effective communication, it can be difficult to make meaningful connections and build a high performance workplace. Effective communication is a complex skill. Like driving a car; you have to know how to control the wheel, use the pedals, and shift gears in order to reach your destination safely and innovatively. All of this while watching around you.

Patrick, the Operations GM, was increasingly frustrated; his attempts of effective communication had been failing. Patrick realised he needed to sharpen up his communication skills if he wanted to get his message over to the team. In our coaching sessions we explored what was working and not working for his leadership. In discussing the ways in which he communicated with team members it became clear he was too rushed and too brief in his messaging. It took quite a while for him to accept this! He needed to pay more attention to his nonverbal behaviour and be more ‘human’ with his staff.

6 important communication skills

1. Be an active listener

Active listening is a communication skill that involves both hearing and understanding. It’s not just about hearing what someone says, but also about fully engaging with them. A good listener also shows that they are interested in the speaker by encouraging them to continue talking. You need to actually look like you are listening!

2. Having empathy

Empathy is the ability to see things from someone else’s perspective. This involves showing an interest in understanding how others feel and think, as well as recognising their emotions. Being empathetic will help you build high performance relationships.  This means developing a strong EQ.

3. Express yourself clearly

Being able to express yourself clearly means having good verbal, non verbal and written communication skills. It involves making eye contact and speaking in a way that others can understand, as well as writing in a way that others can relate to. It means observing and understanding who you are communicating with.

4. Showing respect

Respect is about recognising other people and showing you value them in some genuine way. This can be much harder with some people!

5. Being assertive

Being more assertive at work means expressing yourself in a way that is confident and firm, without being aggressive. Being assertive can be friendly and help you get what you want. It builds trust and confidence.

6. Understanding nonverbal messages

Body language and nonverbal communication refers to the messages that are sent without words. It involves communicating through your body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions.  This means paying close attention to what others say and do, as well as thinking about how your expressions and gestures affect other people.

This communication stuff requires more active observing and flexibility than you might expect. However the time it saves in misunderstandings and conflict is more than worth it. It does need some training though.

   If you would like to explore becoming a better communicator, please contact us by phone on 1300 856 480 or by email