Level Up Your Career: 3 Key Communication Skills Managers need to be Leaders

Level Up Your Career: 3 Key Communication Skills Managers need to be Leaders
By: The Humphrey Group

When you’re looking to level up your career and step into management, it's important to understand what leadership communication skills you’re going to need. Regardless of industry, a manager's role is traditionally to make sure everything runs smoothly: set clear goals, organize resources, keep an eye on how their team is doing and ensure the quality of work meets the required standard.

But these are just the basics. In today’s world, being a great manager is about so much more than just about managing tasks and resources. It's about inspiring and empowering your team and embodying authenticity. At The Humphrey Group, we focus on helping professionals develop these essential leadership communication skills to effectively lead and inspire their teams.

Becoming a manager is about becoming a leader, and leadership is no longer just about telling people what to do. When you’re looking to make the jump to a managerial position, it's your leadership comunication skills that need to be polished and ready. Here are three key strategies to help you shine and demonstrate your readiness for the next step:


Craft visions, not just plans

A main role of a manager is to set long-term goals and develop strategic plans that include resource allocation, timelines, and success indicators. While strategic and operational planning are important skills, the way these plans must be communicated and implemented has evolved.

Traditional planning can be rigid, often focusing on long-term goals that may not easily adapt to changing circumstances. This kind of top-down approach, where plans are developed by managers and handed down to employees, can stifle creativity and engagement.

Modern management requires a shift towards creating an inspiring vision that motivates and engages the team. Instead of just creating goals, managers should articulate a vision that is flexible enough to adapt to change.

For example, rather than setting a rigid target of increasing social media followers by 20% in the next quarter, a leader might first articulate their vision of creating a space where people turn to their page for advice and community. While this vision can and should be tied to metrics, starting from vision encourages the team to develop creative content and even experiment with new formats.

Ways to Demonstrate Readiness:

  • Articulate a clear and inspiring vision for a project or team initiative that aligns your team or organization’s goals.
  • Involve colleagues in planning your next project and incorporate their feedback.
  • Demonstrate adaptability in response to changing circumstances or feedback.


Transform from rigid roles to team empowerment

In traditional workplaces, hierarchy, defined by an allocation of resources and definition of roles and responsibilities within a rigid structure, is often the modus operandi. While organization is crucial, a rigid approach to fixed roles and hierarchies can limit flexibility and responsiveness, and hinder creativity and initiative among team members.

Today’s managers need to shift their focus from control to empowerment. While you may, of course, still be working from a system of roles and titles, leaders should allow team members to take on multiple responsibilities based on their strengths and interests.

Providing the team with the necessary resources and trusting them to use these resources effectively is key. For instance, a manager might encourage their team members to take on projects outside their usual responsibilities, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.

Ways to Demonstrate Readiness:

  • Contribute to a workplace environment where all members feel valued and encouraged to contribute ideas.
  • Actively seek out opinions and perspectives from those who might be shy to speak up.
  • Seek opportunities for yourself or team members to work on cross-functional projects and stretch assignments
  • Implement or advocate for professional development opportunities that allow team members to expand their skills and take on new challenges.


Lead with empathy and authenticity to inspire your team

When we think about managers, we often picture someone who supervises others by providing direction and giving incentives – or even doling out consequences. This approach can backfire, creating a dependent and less innovative team that relies solely on extrinsic motivation.

An authentic leader emphasizes authenticity and empathy. Authentic leadership involves showing genuine care and understanding for your team members' experiences and perspectives. Instead of micromanaging tasks, skilled managers coach their team members and help them develop their skills and grow into their careers.

By aligning work with personal values and the larger mission of the organization, leaders can inspire their teams in a more meaningful way.

Ways to Demonstrate Readiness:

  • Show an understanding of and consideration for your team members' perspectives and needs in your decision-making.
  • Build authentic relationships with colleagues across the organization
  • Demonstrate commitment to the organization's values and mission through your actions and decisions, inspiring your team to follow suit.


Skills for modern managers: Lead with vision, empathy and authenticity

In today's dynamic business environment, the role of a manager extends far beyond traditional tasks. By unlocking the skillset that allows you to embrace a visionary approach, empower your team, and lead with empathy and authenticity, core principles emphasized here at The Humphrey Group, you can transform into a truly effective leader.



Check out The Humphrey Group's Leadership Communication Training to learn more!