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Okay family here’s one alot of people struggle with because they are too casual or feel like they’re speaking at a funeral service. It usually happens when they haven’t prepared, don’t use effective listening techniques or confuse talking with their manager with chatting to someone on Twitter. .
As an employee, communicating with your manager is going to be a critical part of your job. It doesn’t matter if you’re discussing a project, asking for feedback, or addressing a problem, this is a situation where effective communication is key to a successful working relationship. In this blog post, we’re going to review three key techniques to help you communicate more effectively with your manager.
The Importance of Effective Communication with Your Manager
I can’t overstate this point – effective communication with your manager is crucial to your professional success.get it wrong and it opens a can of worms that can linger for along time afterwards. Poor communication (sometimes from both sides) can lead to misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and ultimately, a strained relationship between you and your manager.
On the other hand when you get it right you can get all the treats. Effective communication can reduce your stress and anxiety levels, help you achieve goals, improve your performance, and build a stronger professional relationship with your manager.
Drum roll please…..
Key Technique #1: Active Listening
Active listening is something we were taught as children but still fail to get right. Active listening is absolutely critical technique when communicating with your manager. It means you’re not only hearing what your manager is saying, but also understanding it and responding appropriately. It let’s them know your engaged, you’re present and they’re worth listening to – something everyone appreciates. Here are some tips to help you become a better active listener:
Be present: Focus on what your manager is saying and avoid distractions like your phone or email. Better still, switch off all technology if its not needed.
Show interest: Demonstrate your interest in what your manager is saying by asking questions and nodding in agreement. You don’t need to make interest up, all questions on anything that will build understanding for either parties.
Revoice: one of my fave techniques even with our kids. Revoice what your manager has said in your own words to ensure that you have understood it correctly.
Respond appropriately: Use appropriate body language like leaning in, facial expressions and tone of voice to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Key Technique #2: Be Prepared and organise yourself
This is another key one if you want to avoid the feeling of anxiety or stress. When speaking with your manager, it’s essential to be prepared and organized. This means having all the necessary information and materials ready before the meeting or discussion. If you’ve got an important meeting then WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacles, Plan) Here are some tips to help you be prepared and organized:
Plan ahead: Determine the purpose of the conversation and what you hope to achieve. If it puts, write at the top of a page the outcome you want from the meeting and ensure all discussions drive towards that outcome.
Gather information: Collect all the relevant data, reports, and documents that you may need to reference. If you need something from your manager in advance then let them know.
Anticipate questions: Think about potential questions or objections your manager may have, and prepare answers in advance.
No surprises: few people like being asked for a critical piece of info or a decision when they’re on the spot. This ties back in with gathering your information. If you think something important will need discussion then give your Manager a heads up before the meeting.
Follow up: Take notes during the conversation and follow up with any action items or next steps. This should cover the task, who’s responsible and when it’s due by.
Key Technique #3: Know your audience
It goes without saying but still needs to be said that knowing your audience is an important technique to master when communicating with your manager. The words you use can have a significant impact on how your message is received and how your Manager will respond. How you talk with your friends after a glass of wine on a Saturday is probably going to differ to this conversation. Here are some tips to help you choose your words carefully with this audience:
Use clear and concise language: Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your manager may not understand. Hiding behind jargon is often a sign a person doesn’t actually know what they’re talking about.
Be positive: it’s buzzy how effective this can be but as we all know, positivity is contagious. Use positive language to convey your message and show that you are committed to finding solutions.
Avoid blame: if you go looking for excuses then you’ll ALWAYS find them. Instead use your energy to be solutions focused and take responsibility for your actions.
Offer suggestions: Instead of just pointing out problems, offer suggestions and be creative with how you can address them together.
Conclusion: Improve Your Professional Relationship with Effective Communication
I’m a nut shell, effective communication with your manager is CRITICAL for your professional success. It will increase clarity in your role, expectations you both have on each other, and responsibilities across the team. By using these three key techniques – active listening, preparation and organization, and knowing your audience – you can improve your communication skills and build a stronger professional relationship with your manager. The benefits of this can carry across to your personal life and indeed, any situations where communication is needed.