Today's leaders need to have a wealth of knowledge and possess significant acumen in a range of communication, negotiation, influence and management matters, especially as markets continue to become more competitive and saturated. What's more, the workforce is becoming far more diverse with the passing of each year – a joint product of the increasing globalization of industries and the number of younger generations completing their education.
Companies certainly need to ensure that their leaders understand the more technical aspects of operations – whatever they may be – to be recognized as adequate and authoritative managers among their staff, but these skills will rarely work to the best advantage of supervisors when communication skills are lacking. Studies indicate the mass exodus of baby boomers from the workforce that is beginning now will lead to a greater number of younger leaders, meaning management training will be a must in the coming years.
All about habits
Forbes recently listed some of the more common and dangerous habits leaders will need to eradicate from their management styles to be successful in 2015 and beyond, with the No. 1 slot dedicated to poor communication. When these types of skills are not honed, the chances of a business functioning optimally and intelligently will be inherently low, as few companies can get by with lackluster collaboration among leaders and other staff.
Interestingly, the news provider asserted that the types of leaders who are most likely to have poor communication skills and habits are newer entrepreneurs and employees who moved from a skilled position to a managerial role. The cost of poor communication was probably the most shocking component of the Forbes piece, as the article cited a study that found companies with up to 100 employees waste roughly $528,000 annually due to the downtime involved in clarifying matters on a daily basis.
According to the source, one of the more common causes of poor communication skills is actually tied to a manager's ability to remain organized throughout a given period of time. Forbes argued that leaders should focus on becoming more organized and leveraging a wider range of tools to do so, so that they eventually begin to eradicate the bad habit of poor communication directly at the source.
Other communication considerations
Businesses that function optimally tend to feature strong interpersonal and professional relationships across departments, bringing employees together through a unified objective and commitment to constant collaboration. Leaders simply must be the ones spearheading these types of activities to ensure they yield the desired outcomes, and this means that management training needs to include components related to communication and influence skills.
As the Forbes story mentioned that new managers are among the worst offenders in these regards and companies are seeing their leadership staff change rapidly today, preemptive delivery of training programs can help to sustain continuity of oversight and corporate cultures more effectively. Balking at this and instead waiting until a staff member is already in a leadership position will increase the risk of more bad habits forming, which should be avoided at all costs.