Why It Matters: Communication

Why does a manager need to understand effective communication?

Baby appearing to type on a laptop

We learn to communicate early, but effective communication is a skill that we continue to develop throughout life.

Tony is a manager with Precision Manufacturing. He’s talking to a couple of other managers after the weekly departmental meeting. He is filling them in on an issue he’s having with one of his team members, James.

“I’m completely fed up with James. I’ve been waiting on him to complete a new production schedule for two weeks, and we’re going to miss our deadline.”

“Really? That doesn’t sound like James,” replies Sandra, one of the managers. “Have you said anything to him about it?”

“Of course I have. I went up to him again two days ago and asked if the new schedule would be ready today. He told me it still wasn’t finished. I can’t believe he’s ignoring my request!”

“Well, based on what you just told me, you didn’t actually make a request. You just asked a question.”

Tony looks surprised and says, “What do you mean? He has to know that the only reason I’m asking is that I need it right now.”

“Are you sure he knows? That’s not what I heard you say.”

Communication is easy, right? After all, we learned to communicate during our first years of life, and we’ve been doing it ever since. Unfortunately, it isn’t that simple. Almost every aspect of management requires communication skills; however, time and time again, ineffective communication leads to business problems—and at times, disasters!

In this module, you’ll take a look at principles of communication and learn about barriers to effective communication. By the end of this study, you’ll see that good communication takes intentional focus, but it is a skill you can learn.