The 7 Deadly Sins of Manager/Employee Communication (and How to Avoid Them)

Managers can avoid communication pitfalls in the workplace by learning from seven of the most common mistakes. In order to cultivate an environment of positive interaction, managers should take care not to focus on weaknesses, ignore professional development opportunities, appear unapproachable, be disengaged, micromanage, show pessimism, or engage passive aggressively. Keeping these common mistakes in mind can help managers improve employee engagement, increase workplace satisfaction, and communicate much more effectively overall.

Key Takeaways:

  • Whether you’re conducting annual reviews or discussing progress in regularly scheduled one-on-ones, focusing on an employee’s weaknesses and failures can tank your engagement.
  • According to Gallup, of employees who strongly agree that their manager focuses on their strengths, 67% are engaged at work. Among those that strongly disagree, 71% report that they are actively disengaged.
  • Ratings systems, performance reviews, and goals handed down from leadership can encourage a focus on employee weaknesses. Rather than spending time discussing successes, managers and employees focus on fixing areas where employees are failing to meet expectations – leaving employees feeling as if they’ll never do right in their managers’ eyes.

“And if you want to become a better communicator and manager, you have to know what types of communication are getting in the way of trust, engagement, and morale.”

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