Effective communication is a key skill for supervisors. If a supervisor is unable to deliver a message clearly, it doesn’t matter how good or important the message is, it has no value.
Communication is a continuous process, and good communication provides both quantitative and qualitative input. It serves as a yardstick whereby your employees can measure their progress in terms of meeting their goals and objectives.
Here are some things you can do to make sure you connect effectively with others:
- Be clear and specific about what you want. Break the task down into step-by-step procedures.
- If you’re unsure whether or not people have really understood you, have them repeat your message using their own words.
- Demonstrate or illustrate whenever possible.
- For more complex tasks, break-down the instructions to each part of the job.
- Use direct and specific language. Say exactly what you mean. Don’t leave people guessing.
- Don’t rush your instructions. Clear directions save time.
- Avoid misunderstandings by asking employees how they’ll approach the issue or task and why. Have them repeat your instructions when you’re finished.
If you’re receiving directions or new information
- Be active. Ask questions. Clarify.
- Remain open-minded and patient when you receive instructions from others.
- Don’t second-guess or jump ahead of the person giving directions. Listen to the details.