Interpersonal Communications: A 101 for Managers

August 13, 2019 by Drew Smith

At Copiers Plus, we work closely with organizations to make sure they have the right office technology to securely and efficiently transfer their data. Using our custom Discovery Process as a guide, our development team builds out entire network systems designed for optimal workflow management. A key aspect of keeping everything running smoothly is proper interpersonal communications.

Getting information from one place to the next in a proficient, dependable and cost-effective way is critical to any business. However, there’s another component of team success that is often overlooked as offices become more automated: Meaningful, “one-on-one” communications.

Since 2000, when the Gallup Organization began measuring and reporting on workplace engagement in the U.S., their studies have consistently shown less than one-third of Americans are engaged in their jobs in any given year. The antidote to this dismal picture isn’t all about flextime and perks. In fact, Gallup data proves consistent communication – whether it’s conducted in person, over the phone, or electronically – yields significantly higher engagement.

For example, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers don’t. Even as companies increasingly rely on mobile messaging, e-mail, and enterprise social networking platforms such as Slack, Yammer, and NewsGator to engage employees and improve transparency, there’s still no substitute for in-person interaction.

Interpersonal Communications: Back to Basics

We communicate via facial expression, body language, and spoken language. Face-to-face meetings provide managers the opportunity to incorporate all three modes. Savvy managers know when it’s best to use electronic communications, when to pick up the phone, or when to schedule an in-person meeting. Knowing each employee’s individual communication style is a valuable commodity worth investing in.

Avoid Mumbling – Don’t be “Close Talker!”
Whether communicating with employees in a group or one-on-one, speak clearly and at an even pace. If you mumble your words or speak too quickly, misunderstandings are inevitable.

Keep it Simple
Avoid ambiguous words and phrasing; you’ll be less likely to be misunderstood and/or waste time explaining yourself.

Communication is intended to be a two-way dynamic. Encouraging team members to take part in the discussion will help to guide you in future communications with them.

Say “Thank you!”
After every communication session, via any means, always remember to thank your listeners for their time. This simple courtesy costs you nothing but will buy you a ton of good will.