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Greatest Communication Challenges for Managers

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Greatest Communication Challenges for Managers

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Greatest Communication Challenges for Managers

Because the role of manager is so similar across industries and communication is at the heart of the managerial role, it stands to reason that the communication challenges faced by managers are common to the majority of them and stem from similar issues. By grouping the manager’s various roles into “interpersonal, informational and decisional,” (Mintzberg, The Nature of Managerial Work) we can evaluate the specific challenges as they apply to each communication channel.

In addition to the overall managerial role, the manager must also assume a number of sub-roles on any given day including “figurehead, leader, liaison, monitor, disseminator, spokesperson, entrepreneur, crisis handler, resource allocator and negotiator” regardless of whether they are managing an interpersonal, informational or decisional situation. Each of these sub-roles must carry themselves and express themselves in a unique fashion and so the shape and scope of the communication must also be catered to fit each posture. The roles themselves are often entirely different and sometimes conflicting and one only needs to consider the group monitor role vs. the group leader role to understand the difference. A manager acting as a monitor may need to sit back and observe while communicating with limited verbal interaction and sometimes body language alone. A leader alternatively might be the one at the forefront of the group leading them in the discussion or taking control of the meetings direction and role assignments.

With the constant switching in and out of these management scenarios and roles, it is easy to understand why it is difficult for a manager to always be appropriate and effective in their communication and it is here that the various job challenges arise.

When managing interpersonal situations within an organization, the manager may most rely on their “relating” skills as...