The priority components of great communication are:

  1. Proper preparation;
  2. Patience (i.e. do not rush it);
  3. Listen more than talk;
  4. Be disciplined in your approach (i.e. hold to your schedule of one-to-ones with subordinates and team meetings, be on time and always give your full attention);
  5. Follow up to ensure that your communication was understood the way you intended;
  6. Never promise anything that you cannot deliver;
  7. Keep all your promises.

A summary of the key items to communicate are as follows:

  1. The company’s and team’s vision, mission, values and strategic objectives (and ensuring that they are understood and supported by your subordinates);
  2. Reinforcing good behaviour (daily if appropriate). Complimenting good work whenever it is noticed by letting the individual know what they are doing well or why it’s particularly exceptional, so that they repeat good practices;
  3. Correcting poor behaviour (daily if appropriate). Advising an individual that there is a preferred method;
  4. Overall performance (of the team and individual subordinates within);
  5. Obtaining feedback from subordinates on concerns or suggestions for improvement.

More specifically, any one-to-one or team meetings should cover all or a portion of the following items depending upon the circumstances:

  1. Quantitative operating results and variances from plan;
  2. Qualitative observations and variances from standard;
  3. Team/personal actions needed to eliminate/minimize any negative variances;
  4. Celebrate positive variances;
  5. Recognition of individual accomplishments by team member(s);
  6. Overall important corporate information that should be shared with the team/person;
  7. Seek input from the team/person;
  8. Gauge overall team/person engagement;
  9. Confirm the team’s/person’s top three priorities.

Like most other key management activities, communication takes time, preparation, concentration and patience. It is not rocket science – it just takes the right level of commitment by the manager.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me.

By Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF mentor,

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