Do you find it difficult to provide direction to your employees without coming across as bossy or overbearing? Do you struggle to find the right words to motivate others without sounding desperate? With a strong handle on how to effectively use assertive communication skills, every manager can learn to take a positive approach to leading employees toward success, while maintaining a balanced and productive team.
Managers generally fall into one of three groups - aggressive, passive, or assertive. Those who are too aggressive may be successful in completing short-term goals, but often struggle to maintain positive relationships with their employees over time. Managers who are too passive have no problem building relationships, but find it challenging to motivate others and solve problems. It is assertive managers that have the ability provide guidance to their employees to get the job done while commanding respect.
An organization's success depends on its managers' ability to lead, and this leadership is a combination of their communication skills, ability to build relationships, and composure when handling conflict. Managers who can find a balance between aggressive and passive management styles will build bridges, mend fences, and lead your organization confidently and effectively.
Following are essential tools and skills to ensure effective communication for your team:
Develop Your Listening Skills – Statistics reveal that we spend approx 40 to 60% of our time listening at work yet we only listen at a 25 percent efficiency rate. When we fail to listen effectively, it could lead to conflict, miscommunication, re-work, low productivity, and many other damaging effects to the team. Tips for effective listening:
1. Maintain good eye contact
2. Do not interrupt the speaker
3. Ask clarifying questions if you do not understand and paraphrase
4. Be present (wait until the speaker is finish before formulating your response)
5. Show empathy (understand what the speaker is feeling)
6. Listen with your ears and your heart (read the non-verbals)
Control Your Emotions - Emotional intelligence is essential for great communications. Many research findings indicate that a high EQ (emotional quotient) is a better indicator of success than IQ (intelligence quotient); and this is due to the fact that people are unique and different and we accomplish more when we learn to manage our own emotions and connect with the emotions of others.
Learn Assertiveness Skills - Passive and aggressive forms of communication are not effective due to the fact that passive individuals allow others to violate their rights and invade their boundaries. This could lead to internal stress and resentment. Aggressive behavior, on the other hand alienates individuals and creates a hostile work environment.
Be respectful of others - Celebrate the differences. We are all unique in our work styles and personalities. When we learn to respect people for who they are, it creates an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie.
Use Email Effectively - Never attempt to settle conflict via email. Communication consists of works, tone, and body language. Email leaves everything up to interpretation, and it is dangerous to risk damaging a relationship by discussing conflict via email. Either call the individual or speak to them face-to-face.
With the right skills and mindset, your organization can set the benchmark for a great place to work. Effective communication is the foundation and core backbone of all successful organizations. It creates an atmosphere conducive for learning, development, idea sharing, and most importantly, consistent growth.
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