Making Connections: Communication Solutions for Office Managers

March 15, 2016 – According to a recent study, 75% of employers’ rate teamwork and collaboration as very important to their business. In order to be an effective team member and collaborator, you must be an effective communicator. Yet many office managers struggle with communication, both electronic or in person. It can be difficult to get across your point while also putting it in the right context and the right tone. Luckily, there are communication solutions that can help office managers and other essential team members to communicate more clearly and effectively, and therefore help your business run more smoothly.

Saying What You Need

First and foremost, business communication should be concise. That means that whether you are composing an email, a presentation, or a phone call you should make the goal of the conversation to be saying what you need. Communications expert Karen Friedman recommends adhering to the tried and true journalistic method of establishing:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why

for your business communications. That means if you are assigning a task to someone, you need to not only make clear what it is you need, but what the larger purpose of the task is as well as a clear deadline. This rule can make communication a lot clearer.

Non-Verbal Cues Are Still Important

Because we do a lot of our communication electronically these days, it can be easy to let in-person communication skills fall by the wayside. Whether that means staring at your incoming emails while an employee is trying to talk to you or simply letting your mind wander when you’re on a conference call, you can take physical steps to make your communication come across better. Making eye contact is one easy way to improve face-to-face conversations, as is taking you hands out of your pockets and adopting a comfortable, open stance. On the phone, try smiling or maintaining a neutral expression. And do your best not to read emails or attend to other tasks while on the phone. The other person will notice.

Cultivate Good Listening Skills

Listening is not antithetical to communication. In fact, listening can be one of the best communication solutions. Office managers often have to act as a liaison between different departments and even different offices. This means that it is especially important that you are able to listen to the needs of different employees and managers so that you can effectively communicate them to others. While good listening is important in all scenarios, pay close attention to your own attention when it comes to employees offer suggestion or ideas, team collaboration environments, and emotional situations.

Unfortunately, communication solutions are not one size fits all. Some offices communicate better via email while others prefer phone calls or meetings. Use these communication tips to better understand what your office needs and how you can be a more effective manager through communication.