Managing employees is a learned skill. And, learning how to
communicate effectively with employees is critical. For managers,
interacting with employees requires greater communication.
Since the age of technology, communication today between a manager
and an employee is now commonly conducted via email or even text
Yet, the ability to communicate faster because of technology has
created a real challenge. That challenge is the ability not only
articulate what your words and thoughts are, but to better
understand what your employees are communicating, both verbal and
So, how can managers communicate more effectively in a face to face
meeting or informal or formal performance review? And, how can
managers create a positive environment when discussing an employee's
First, managers should strive to improve their communication skills.
That involves understanding nonverbal communication, including how
to read an employee's body language.
Research shows that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Nonverbal
communication is all the ways in which humans communicate without
ever speaking a word. It includes, facial expressions, body
language, body posture, and voice tone. Nonverbal communication can
also include space, territory, physical appearance, clothing and
In this article, we'll focus on body language and more specifically,
how to communicate effectively with your hands.
As a supervisor or manager, when your hands are open and your palms
are up, you're sending the message that you are agreeable, and you
are completely open. When speaking to employees, use open hand
gestures. When you display an open hand, you're saying, I am open
and agreeable. This is a simple, yet powerful tool, that
communicates that you are open, honest and sincere. The open hand
encourages openness and honesty. It's difficult to be dishonest or
insincere when open palms are displayed.
When conducting any job performance review, a more positive
experience is achieved when managers display open hands.
For the manager or the employee, the open hand gesture suppresses
the urge to be insincere or dishonest.
When speaking to an employee and especially in the case of any job
performance review, use open hand gestures. This is a simple, yet
powerful tool, that communicates that you are genuine in your
employee praise or sincerely concerned about the need for
improvement within their job performance.
Implementing the open hand, along with other body language cues, can
help you effectively manage any employee.
by Jeff M Edwards
Jeff M Edwards is the Program Director for
InterSkillMedia.com. Mr. Edwards writes on many subjects involving
Business, Employee Management, Hiring & Interviewing, Sales and the
Training and Development of Employees. For more information, visit: