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It’s All About Communication

What is the shortest word in the English language that contains the letters: abcdef? Answer: Feedback. Don't forget that feedback is one of the essential elements of good communication.

As a manager it is imperative that you are a good communicator. Often you are letting your team know what you need from them. Maybe you’re talking to clients and must convey what you can do for them. And, everyday you hear from colleagues, employees, even your own boss - and you must respond to them.

Employees need clear communication and prompt feedback. Whether they're working effectively and making great strides on a project, or taking way too long and making little mistakes, employees need to know clearly and promptly that you appreciate their hard work and accomplishments, or that you expect them to work harder and smarter.

Be sure your message is heard. Regular meetings to give feedback and direction are often key to successful management. Or, you may want to let your team know you're thoughts through e-mail, conference calls, or periodic status updates. Probably a combination of all of these – but be consistent.

The key to good feedback is clarity and detail. Offer solutions if there is a problem. State specific examples of what your coworkers accomplished that was great. Recap why the timeline was unacceptable. Clear, prompt, and detailed feedback leaves little room for future misunderstandings and positive feedback starts that next project off on a happy note with motivated employees!

Don’t forget to respond to those emails. I know, we all have a full in-box, but nearly every email deserves feedback. Even a brief, “Thank you for your email.” is appreciated. Acknowledging that you have received the information or update may not warrant a conversation, but remember that a simple ‘thank you’ goes a long way in making people feel appreciated and valued.