Have you ever had a “difficult” supervisor? Did they discuss things with you or just give orders? Did they compliment you for a job well done, or did you only hear from them when you made a mistake? How did this impact your ability to come to work and be productive? What feelings did you have regarding this supervisor? At a recent, “Dealing with Difficult People” Seminar, individuals were asked to close their eyes and envision their difficult person in their last altercation. They were asked to see a door open at the end of a hall and their difficult person walking toward them. All of their senses were to be used. What did they hear, see, smell, etc.? After this brief exercise, the discussion turned to the feelings held by those who had envisioned a “lousy boss.” Even though individuals had not worked for these people in some time, several got red in the face, anxiety increased, and they became stressed, and angry. They discussed hating to go to work and how difficult it was to be productive under those conditions. Your success as a manager depends on your people. Although leadership is necessary to coordinate activities and direct others to a goal, you need your employees to get the product out the door. Effective leaders understand this and have learned to act more as a coach than a dictator. They know communication is the thread that holds an organization together and some believe the “real” organizational structure actually emerges from communication. In writings on leadership, effective communication surfaces as the most important skill to cultivate. Supervisors who tend to be more “communication-minded” have learned to include their employees in the operation of the business through open and honest contact. Communication in an organization has to be consistent and focused on the goals of the organization.
Copyright Elizabeth Sears, PhD, Workplace Communication, Inc., 2008 All Rights Reserved
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