How to Communicate to Management


Much has been written to help managers communicate with their employees, but an employee's ability to communicate with management is just as important. Managers may think differently about business problems than do employees. Keep this in mind when you communicating with management, whether it be written or spoken communication.

Choose a method to deliver your message. Casual communication with management might be dropping into your manager's office to have a conversation. Use formal written communication for communicating progress on projects, concerns about deadlines, or when addressing other issues related to the performance of the business. Use any standard company forms if they exist for the type of message you need to communicate.

Ask your manager if there is a method of communication that he prefers. One manager may like to deal almost exclusively with email while another may ignore email and pay attention to other methods of communication. Know which methods are most likely to reach your manager and use them as often as possible to ensure that your message is received in a reasonable period of time.

Focus on things that are important to management. Managers have many employees competing for their attention. Your message must be concise. If you cannot communicate the important points quickly, they may go unnoticed. Many overcommunicate when communicating with management. Get your message across quickly to keep from being overlooked.

Adopt a policy of straightforward honesty when communicating with management. Managers don't want to hear excuses about why a project is behind; they want to know exactly what the situation is so that they can make effective decisions about what direction to guide their employees. Never be ambiguous when communicating with a manager.

Prepare your message ahead of time, especially if you are going to be presenting information in a meeting. Gather as much information as you can about the people who will be present and what their concerns might be. Tailor your message to speak directly to the concerns of the managers with whom you will be communicating.

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