Nothing hinders your supervisory role more than miscommunication.
Successful supervisors can’t afford to beat around the bush; they must be clear and decisive, and practice what they preach.
You may be fostering poor communication and never know it. Remember, if you ignore the value of communication, your staff will, too.
Open communication between co-workers and supervisors is key to the success of relationships at work.
Supervisors must create a trusting working environment in which employees feel comfortable asking for clarification and feedback. Employees should feel at ease expressing their ideas without fear of humiliation or retaliation.
Remember, to be an effective supervisor, you should involve employees in making decisions and solving problems. This will instill pride and ownership.
If you don’t have time to listen to an employee, don’t rush the conversation. Instead, schedule a time when both of you can sit down and communicate fully.
Don’t forget that trust is the foundation of most working relationships. It can’t be bought or negotiated. In fact, a lack of trust can soon bring the walls crumbling down with increased stress, staff turnover, low productivity and contempt.
Try the following tips to improve communication and build trust within the company:
Paraphrase what the other person is saying so you fully understand him or her. For example, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re saying . . .”
Do not confront a worker when he or she is busy or with a customer. Arrange a time that is convenient for both of you . . . in private.
Never make it personal. It’s a working relationship in the best interests of the company.
Recognize when office conflict goes beyond simple rivalries. Bullying and racial conflict is harassment and needs to be dealt with appropriately.
Listen first, then speak. Hear all sides before making a decision.
Keep promises and commitments.
If you don’t agree, keep an open mind and listen anyway.
Don’t make decisions before looking at all the alternatives.
Provide all the facts and do your homework. Don’t distort information.
Don’t be a stone. Share your feelings, too.
Never jump to conclusions without checking the facts.
Always be open to new ideas. Don’t close the door just because it’s not your idea. Embrace it.
Admit your mistakes to demonstrate accountability and that you’re only human.
Open dialogue, serious listening and feedback really give communication a chance to work.