What is Managerial Communication?
Meaning of Managerial Communication: – Managerial Communication is a function that helps managers to communicate with each other as well as with the employees of the organization. Communication helps in the transfer of information from one party to the sender which is also called the recipient. Managerial communication refers to interaction among managers and their subordinates within an organization.
It is essential for managers to communicate with their team members and vice a versa to ensure maximum productivity and peace at workplace.
Managerial communication helps in the smooth flow of information between managers working towards a common goal. In effective communication the message should be clear and well understood. Team members should know what their manager or team leader wants to communicate. Effective managerial communication enables information to flow between managers, team leaders and their respective teams in its desired form.
Why is managerial communication is important at workplace?
Managerial Communication is important at the workplace because of following reasons: –
- Sharing of Information: – Communication is necessary for the exchange of ideas amongst employees within the organization. The main purpose of communication is to give information to individuals or groups. Various types of information are shared in a company such as rules and regulations, changes in organization, work deadlines, and more.
- Feedback: – Employees need to be given feedback on their achievements, as well as informed departments about their performance. The top management should also be informed about the achievement of the goals. When feedback is given, difficulties encountered during the process can be identified and rectified for a smoother process.
- Problem Solving: – Managerial communication is important in finding solutions to difficulties at the workplace. Managers must communicate with their team members to understand and address their grievances and problems. Queries should be resolved at the initial stages only to avoid critical problems later on. Team members should have the liberty to talk to their team managers. Communication can be done either through verbal communication or written modes of communication. Good communication between managers and employees on issues will help find solutions to problems and develop consensus easily.
- Help in Decision Making: – The most important role of a manager is that of decision making. To take the right decision a manager needs to get all the information required to take the decision. Also, the way decisions are communicated will have an impact on how they are taken in terms of cooperation and support to achieve the desired goal.
- Helps in Achieving Targets: – Managerial communication is essential at the workplace to achieve targets within the desired time frame. An individual doing things all alone would definitely need more time as compared to employees working as a team. Managers must communicate effectively with their team members to make them understand their key responsibility areas and what all is expected out of them. Effective communication ensures proper delegation of work amongst team members.
- Facilitating Change: – How clearly the organization communicates change will determine how effectively it is implemented. Managerial communication will show difficulties in the changes implemented and whether corrective measures should be taken.
- Team Building: – Great relationships are built on communication. If a manager does not allow proper communication within his team, there can be group breakdown which can lead to friction. Therefore, communication is the lubricant between a manager and his team for proper functioning.
- Setting Goals and Targets: – Managerial communication also helps managers set goals and targets for themselves and organization. The objectives of a team cannot be set by a single employee. One needs to interact with all the related employees to assign targets for team members and also set goals for the organization.
Types of Managerial Communication
Managerial communication is of the following two types: –
- Interpersonal Communication: – Interpersonal communication generally takes place between two or more individuals at the workplace.
- Oral Communication: – The communication done with the help of words is called oral communication. There is no written record available in oral communication. What they say and how they speak matters a lot. Managers must choose the right words to address their team members. Make sure you don’t confuse your team members. Be loud and clear when interacting with employees in the workplace. Be very clear and precise.
- Written Communication: – Communication is also done through emails, letters, manuals, notices etc. Such methods of communication where written records are available are often called written communication. Managers should make a practice of communicating with their juniors through email as it is one of the most reliable methods of communication. Mastering the art of email writing is essential for managers.
- Body Language: – Managers must also take special care of their body language, facial expressions, gestures for effective communication. A manager who always has a frown on his face is generally not liked and respected by people. Being a Boss does not mean you need to shout at people. Be warm and friendly with your team members.
- Organizational Communication: – Communication taking place at all levels in the organization refers to organizational communication.
- Formal Communication: – To ensure communication on an ongoing basis, organizations develop formal systems. Employee meetings, union-management meetings, branch managers’ conferences, periodic sales review meetings and customer meetings are examples of forums that facilitate formal communication. Formal communication generally follows a well-defined hierarchical pattern and periodicity. Memos, circulars, instructions, guidelines, clarifications, agreements and reports are some of the channels that facilitate the flow of formal communication in business organization.
- Informal Communication: – This type of communication takes place in an unstructured manner and outside formal forums. There is an element of spontaneity in this communication. Informal communication works well in small, loose-fitting organizations. It is often used in situations where there are no rigid hierarchical levels. While a formal structure of communication is essential in large organizations, it is informality that helps maintain goal orientation in smaller well-knit units. Informal communication occurs through chat, conversation, informal conversation etc.
Direction of Communication Flow: –
- Upward Communication: – Upward communication is the opposite of downward communication; it comes from the employees and goes to the management. This is important because it helps employees communicate with their leaders and helps managers stay in touch with what’s happening below.
- Downward Communication: – It can be called top-down otherwise known as downward communication where the information comes from the upper management and passes to the subordinates. Downward communication can be for communicating instructions or strategies.
Other types of Communication
Other types of Communication are as follows: –
- Internal Communication: – Internal communication occurs within the organization or group – between people, between different groups of employees, and between employers and employees. It can be oral or written, visual or audio-visual, formal or informal, and up or down. Internal communication serves to inform, instruct, educate, develop, inspire, persuade, entertain, direct, control and alert the people in the organization.
- External Communication: – Unlike internal communication, external communication flows outward. It addresses people outside the organization such as potential customers, competitors, the public, the press, the media, and the government. External communication can take place in different ways and through different channels. Letters, notices, brochures, displays, telephone calls, business meetings, press releases, press conferences, audio-visual presentations, promotional film product launch events and advertisements are all examples of external communication.
- Lateral Communication: – Lateral communication generally occurs in an organization and is neither upward nor downward. It proceeds in a horizontal manner and occurs between equals and at the level of peers. It can also be described as peer level communication. Any communication that takes place either orally or in writing, from one branch chief to another, from one division head to another, from one group chief to another, can be described as lateral communication. An important point to note in any such lateral communication is that there is not much difference in terms of hierarchical levels or positions of sender and receiver.
- Interactive Communication: – Interactive communication is essentially a two-way process. This happens through meetings, conferences, teleconferencing, multimedia presentations, group discussions and other such active two-way exchanges. Interactive communication is best suited when the message or the topic is to be presented in detail, for example, in practical sessions, case study discussions and strategy formulation. When multiple speakers are involved, a moderator may be required who will facilitate the effective flow of communication from the different speakers.
- Mass Communication: – Mass communication is unique in its scale. Essentially, it addresses a large group of people. Public speaking, newspapers, magazines and magazines, radio, television, dotcom etc are the channels of mass communication. Mass communication has developed as a special field of study. Each of these areas or channels demands specific skills. By its very nature, mass communication addresses a vast, well dispersed and heterogeneous group of people and as such, special efforts have to be made to maintain their interest and elicit the desired response.
- Grapevine: – Grapevine is a type of informal communication that is prevalent in organizations and businesses. The source of such communication may not be clear. It is spread through gossip and rumours. It travels through informal networks and is often faster than formal messages. Sometimes, it becomes more powerful and more receptive than formal communication.
What are the barriers to effective managerial communication?
Managers need to interact with each other as well as with their team members on a regular basis not only to get things done effectively but also to ensure peace at the workplace.
Let us go through various barriers to effective managerial communication at the workplace: –
- Partiality and workplace politics are the major barriers to effective communication at the workplace. Managers must not be partial to any of their team members. It is considered strictly unprofessional. Each employee should be treated as one. Do not ignore any of your team members just because you do not like him. A good manager is one who is impartial to all.
- As responsible managers one must stay away from nasty politics at workplace. Politics leads to negativity all around and increases stress levels of employees. Do not believe rumours and prefer speaking to employees directly rather than finding out from others. Listen carefully what the other person has to say before jumping to conclusions. Being a patient listener helps improve managerial communication. Do not interrupt while the other person is speaking. One needs to very careful about his choice of words. Managers must ensure their speech makes sense and well understood by people around.
- Do not address your team members just for the sake of it. Take care of your pitch and tone. For effective managerial communication, one should be neither too loud nor too soft. Make sure you are audible to all. Address employees in a noise free zone. Noise is one of biggest barriers to effective communication. Employees fail to understand the speaker“s message and eventually dilute the meaning of effective communication. Do not address employees during lunch hours or when they are about to leave for the day. Employees are absolutely in a different frame of mind and fail to understand what the speaker intends to communicate. Organizations must have board rooms or conference rooms where employees come on a common platform and communicate effectively without disturbances.
- Prefer not to interact verbally. In verbal communication, employees tend to forget what was communicated to them a month ago. Managers must promote communication through emails at the workplace. Do not mark separate mails to team members. Mark a cc to all related employees; and
- Do not communicate separately with your team members as information might not reach in its desired form. Transparency at all levels is essential for effective managerial communication. Communicating through middle men is unprofessional and affects communication.
Skills Required for Effective Managerial Communication
An individual needs to possess certain skills for effective managerial communication. Let us go through various skills required for effective managerial communication: –
- Body Language and overall personality of an individual play an essential role in effective communication. It is essential for managers to express their thoughts in a positive way. Remember shouting at team members and quarrelling with them lead to no solution; instead make the situation all the more worse.
- People generally like to communicate with someone who is nicely dressed and presentable. No employee would ever like to communicate with a shabbily dressed manager. Be an idol for your team members. It is really important for managers to dress well for co workers to look up to them.
- Take care of your facial expressions and gestures. A smile on your face will attract employees and they would readily come to you to discuss their problems.
- Be Honest, pass on information to your team members in its correct form. Playing with information and data tampering lead to ineffective communication. Communicate directly with your team members rather than appointing middle men.
- Speak Relevant, the choice of words is really very important in verbal communication. Do not use slangs and abusive words in your speech. Loose talks must be avoided at the workplace.
- Be Focussed. Know what you intend to communicate. Managers must prepare their speech well in advance before addressing their team members. Do not communicate just for the sake of communicating. Deviating from the topic only confuses recipients. Managers must ensure their team members are able to understand them well.
- Be Confident. You must believe in yourself for others to believe you. Learn to stick to your words. It is really important for effective managerial communication. Never be low on self belief.
- The pitch and the tone need to be taken care of. Do not be too loud or too soft. A manager must know how to keep a control on his anger. Stay calm and composed. Do not overreact.
- As a good manager, you ought to be impartial towards all your team members. Giving special attention to one of your team members just because he is your friend is something which is not at all expected out of a good manager. As a manager you are responsible for all your team members and you need to interact with them on a regular basis. It is your duty to address their grievances and problems. Be available to them and let them express themselves.
- Know when to communicate. Avoid calling your team members at late evenings or early mornings. They would never pay attention to your communication and the message gets diluted. Prefer not to interact with them during lunch hours unless there is an emergency.