Let’s Talk About It…

Let’s Talk About It…

The CIPD’s Autumn 2015 Employee Outlook Research reports that employee ratings around their relationship to their managers have worsened, particularly around respect, confidence and trust. It also identifies the importance of matching skill sets to job role and the detrimental impact on employee motivation when there is a mismatch.   The research suggests that one way to address these issues is for managers to have regular conversations with employees about their experience and aspirations.

So, what might help managers to engage in effective communication to build trust, respect and confidence? Here are our ‘top 10’ tips:

  1. Don’t wait for there to be a problem before asking for a conversation. By making a habit of formal supervisory conversations, the employee will not associate a conversation with there being an underlying problem.
  2. When in conversation, spend less time talking and more time listening.
  3. When dissatisfaction, criticism and anger are expressed, communicate that you have heard the pain, and avoid responding with justifications of your own position.
  4. Identify what would help the employee by asking, “what is it you’d like to see happen?” or “what would you like me to do about this?”
  5. Develop a good understanding of what you are hearing by using open questions and slowly build a picture.
  6. Before communicating your response and plan of action, summarise the key points and check out that you’ve got the story right.
  7. If the employee is emotionally distressed in any way, communicate that you acknowledge their pain, offer opportunity for time-out or remain quiet until dialogue is possible.
  8. When proposing your plan of action, focus as much on your tone and style of delivery as the words you choose. Research also tells us that the words themselves are less significant than the tone and intention of the speaker.
  9. Take brief notes on the sequence of the facts, as you’ll soon forget the detail.
  10. Communicate a time and a date when you will come back to the employee with a response or outcome, and keep to your word.

Yes, easier said than done! But these skills can be learnt, practised and embedded into your daily communications. At Namasté Culture, we are committed to enabling people to embed such skills and behaviours. Our leadership and management programmes offer managers the opportunity to grow from novice to expert over a 12 month period of learning, experimentation and consolidation. For more details, contact david@namsteculture.co.uk

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