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Management Skills - How To Effectively Communicate with Employees

Listen and Learn


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 message.

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 nonverbal.

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 job performance?

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 even time.

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 Mr. Edwards writes on many subjects involving Business, Employee Management, Hiring & Interviewing, Sales and the Training and Development of Employees. For more information, visit:

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Check Workplace Communication Section for more communication tips at workplace.

See Grammar Video Tutorials for more info on grammar.