Management Tip of the Day: Avoid Communications Breakdowns

Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:30am EDT
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BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Large organizations, in particular, have always struggled with communications, and technology only makes potential problems more potent, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and (http:\\ Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Even though communication is the lifeblood of an organization, it's difficult to find a company that doesn't have its momentary breakdowns in that area. Part of a manager's job is to keep these to a minimum.

Here are three ways to ensure employees understand and communicate well:

1. Provide context. For people to understand a message, they have to know why it's important. Give people enough information so they know where things fall on the priority list.

2. Encourage questions. Don't just ask if people have questions, encourage them to raise concerns. This type of interaction helps people absorb information and understand messages so they can pass them on.

3. Stay connected. People respond to communications very differently, even when they're hearing the same information. By being in tune with your employees, you can anticipate their reactions and better understand how to deliver messages."

-Today's management tip was adapted from "Your Communications May Not Be Communicating" by Ron Ashkenas.