Two Women Talking

Communication management is the biggest challenge managers in your organization face. It’s probably not tied to subject matter expertise. Research shows it’s more likely the human element of management—how a manager motivates, communicates and responds to conflict, change and stress. PWC highlights that managers need to work together with organizational leadership to stoke and keep their best employees.

So how can managers be better at…managing? How do you progress positive behaviors in managers that trickle down to employees?

The behavioral element of expressiveness plays a huge role in communication management and connecting with teams, direct reports and employees. Managers should keep in mind that their team’s expressiveness level is likely very diverse, especially if you lead a large group or department. Diversity is good, but be aware, it will bring about a difference in how people receive your body language and vocal inflections. Ultimately, understanding expressiveness will help any person (manager and individual contributor alike) better know how to communicate and express themselves more effectively. Keep the following in mind:

Very gregarious and outgoing employees will:

  • Enjoy your constant movements
  • Respond to various tones of voice
  • Appreciate the full use of your environment. Walking to their desk, checking in frequently…walking and talking. All good.

A more reserved and quiet employee base will:

  • Prefer you to take a calmer approach
  • Will likely be paying very close attention to your words as opposed to your gestures and other extraneous aspects of communication management.
  • Will want notice ahead of time as to when and why your speaking with them
  • Look to communicate in 1-on-1 environments or even electronically

Knowing that different employees need very real, distinct differences in your communication patterns is the first step in better communication management. The next step is understanding your own managerial tendencies and preferences—you need to understand how you’re likely behaving and showing up in order to know how to monitor and shift your approach.

The Emergenetics Blog is full of behavioral ideas for optimizing the way you manage. Here’s a few of my favorites:

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