Effective communication is a vital aspect of success in any business. However, different types of organizations may require a communication approach that is tailored to their specific needs. Managers who work in a large corporation will need to communicate through different levels within the organization and will require various techniques and tools to accomplish this. In the case of a manager of a small franchise, most communication will be face-to-face and will involve a more direct approach. Catering methods of communication to your specific establishment can support an ideal environment for your employees and business as a whole.
Recognizing the Individual
In a smaller organization it is likely that you will be managing a very tight-knit team and it is important to take the time to learn how to communicate effectively with each member of the group. Some things you might want to consider include:
- Cultural Backgrounds
- Previous Work Experience
- Language Barriers
- Personality Types (ex: introverted vs. extroverted)
Your employees will have different learning styles and abilities and if you can engage them in a way that will support their learning and comprehension, it will create a smoother working process. This can eliminate a lot of unnecessary frustration caused by miscommunication and a lack of understanding.
Listening and Observation
Misguided managers believe that they are typically in charge of the speaking role while their employees fill the listener’s position. Although this is true at certain points, it is just as important for the manager to engage in active listening with their employees. Paying attention and responding to both verbal and nonverbal cues from employees can help you in several ways such as:
- Building Relationships: Showing your employees that you understand and care about what they are communicating can make them feel heard and involved.
- Promoting a Safe Environment: When you lead your group with clear and open communication it creates an environment where it is safe to express ideas and feelings.
- Defusing Conflicts: Disagreements in the workplace, especially if it is a small franchise, can bring the entire workday to a halt. By listening and observing, it is simpler to understand the nature of a situation and resolve conflicts before they escalate.
- Saving Time: When you make sure that employees understand the tasks and duties that have been assigned to them it can help prevent mistakes and speed up the process.
Putting Out the Correct Message
When you are acting as a manager you should be especially careful about what you say. Although there are several topics that general employees should abstain from, as the leader of the team, you are responsible for setting the stage for appropriate and positive exchanges.
For example, you should never discuss issues that you are having with your employees with their coworkers. This opens the door for gossip, conflict and creates an unprofessional atmosphere. If there is a problem in your business, whether it is with a specific individual or an aspect of the work, you can modify your communication to focus on the solution instead of the problem.
If you want to improve your management abilities then you need to start with your communication skills. Taking the time to become an effective communicator can greatly enhance your success as a manager in addition to your outside endeavors. In a franchise setting, for example, a convenience store franchise like 7-Eleven, employing communication techniques that are focused on small groups and business needs can streamline the work process and aid in productivity. Productivity is what makes great managers, regardless of the size of the franchise.
Thomas A. Hickman | Marketing Specialist – Guest Writer | 7-Eleven