How to Teach Managers to Consider the What, How, Who, and Why of Each Communication

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Michelle Kempskie, Principal, Michelle Kempskie Consulting

How often have you left a meeting with your manager and thought, “What just happened? What does she want me to do? Why am I doing this?”

Managers are the glue that keep organizations together, and they can be the demise of any organization as well. Managers sit in the middle between leadership making decisions for the business and the employees who must carry out these decisions. The key to bringing the two ends together is communication.

Communication is the exchange of information through speech, writing, visualization, and/or behavior. Communication involves a sender, message and recipient. Sounds like a simple formula for success, right? Not so much.

Communication comes in all shapes and sizes and poses an opportunity to make a connection, inspire motivation and solidify commitment. Communication can also drive a wedge, elicit negativity, or even spark an argument. On one end of the communication spectrum there are the one-off conversations in the hallway, or more likely while waiting for others to join a Zoom meeting or at its tail end. On the other there are communications that require months of planning behind closed doors. Although these two scenarios are very different, they can both be successful or a disaster.

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