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Communication Skills for Managers

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Posted 04 December 2015 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with the development of your communication skills training.

Communication Skills for Managers

All good managers need to be good communicators. If you are a manager, then you need to develop your communication skills.

Communication is defined as, the transfer of information from one mind to another.

The transfer of information must take place without loss, distortion, or error. Any ambiguity or distortion introduced into the message will mean that the communication was incomplete or faulty, and the result will be error in action.

Warning: Many people are loose with language. Their language is often ambiguous and results in error. For example, look at the following ambiguous sentences.

"The policeman looked at the woman with binoculars".

This is ambiguous, because, it is unclear who had the binoculars. The policeman or the woman?

Here is another example:

"Workers needed for pickling". and "Before you give the baby its milk, boil it". and "When I give the signal and nod my head, hit it".

All these messages are ambiguous; vague.

We have a rule for all managers. Here it is:

"Clarity is a virtue; and vagueness is a vice"

Managers need to make sure that everything they say, has only one meaning, not multiple meanings.

If managers give instructions that are ambiguous, or they give messages with multiple meanings, then other people may misinterpret the intended meaning and, as a result, do the "wrong thing".

Then later, the manager has to fix the mistake caused by the messed-up-message. The manager will blame the worker, who "got the wrong end of the stick". But really it was the manager's own fault, for wording the message in ways that invited misunderstanding.

Here is a rule to remember:

Whatever can be misunderstood, eventually, will be misunderstood

Think, and make sure that your exact meaning has been properly understood. Better to take an extra minute explaining exactly what you mean, than spend a day fixing the mistake caused by a misinterpretation of your original message.

A few weeks ago we saw this message outside our local Tesco's: the meaning is ambiguous. It could mean that Tesco's is the most expensive shop.

Question, if you were the manager in Tesco's, how would you reword the message so as to make the meaning clearer?


  • Whatever can be misunderstood, eventually will be misunderstood.
  • "Clarity is a virtue; and vagueness is a vice".
  • Don't be lazy in language.
  • Take an extra minute explaining exactly what you mean.
  • Get the communication right, first time.

If you want to learn more about clear communication skills for managers, please follow this link.

Communication Skills Training

Communication Skills Training

Do you ever think to yourself, "I know what I mean, but I can't explain it"? You need to be able communicate facts, feelings, information and ideas, in a clear, professional and confident manner. If you want to learn more about our communication skills training, please click here.

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