Whether you are a new, aspiring, or seasoned manager, you know that managing people is one of the toughest – and most rewarding roles – that you will ever have.

Studies show that one of the best ways to be a better manager is to be a better communicator. (Gallup)

Here are 5 strategies that will move you toward becoming a better communicator at work. To learn more ways to become a better boss, check out my online course Manager Essentials: How to Be a Better Boss.

1. Communicate the big picture.  

People need to know their work has value. Make sure your team knows that what they are doing fits into the big picture and overall mission. Even if it seems like a small task – everyone in your organization is vital to its success. Make sure they know that.

2. Give away your power.  

Knowledge is power, so make sure you’re communicating all you can – to your team, your boss, and your colleagues.  Don’t wait – share what you know, when you know it.  People much prefer to know what’s going on, even if it’s bad news, then hear about it second hand, or after you have all the details. By doing this, you will gain trust and credibility – and both are critical to being a good boss.

3. Get some feedback. 

Ask for open and honest feedback from your team and then listen to it! Use a simple survey tool, such as Survey Monkey, to find out what you’re doing well and what you could do better. Allow for anonymity. You’ll find you may have had some blinders on in some areas. Take the feedback to heart and make some changes.

4. Resolve Conflict.

Deal with issues sooner rather than later, and have the courage to have hard conversations when they are necessary.  Don’t be passive-aggressive (the most common method used for conflict resolution), but be assertive in a kind and respectful way.

5. Encourage teamwork.

You’ll get more from your team if you encourage them to work together rather than individually. A solid team shares ideas and lends a hand when needed. Have participatory staff meetings, celebrations, friendly competitions, and encourage diverse teams -rather than individual – projects. And, include everyone – not just your superstars.

If you’re ready to learn more skills and gain the confidence you need to become a better boss, then I recommend my newest course: Manager Essentials: How to Be a Better Boss. This 4-week online course includes skill-building, expert coaching, guest speakers, personalized feedback, and guidance to build your skills, confidence, and ability to becoming a better boss.


Betty Lochner is a human resources consultant, business coach, and expert in workplace communications. She is the author of two books on communication, and a newly published journal, Intentional Gratitude.