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Supervisor Skills: 7 Steps to Becoming a More Engaging Communicator
May 9, 2022 - AEU LEAD

To be an effective supervisor, you must learn to engage with others when communicating. So, how do you become an engaging communicator? Engaging communication is an essential supervisor skill that ensures your messages are clearly expressed and understood. Consider a time when you had a conversation with someone, and you felt genuinely interested in the conversation. You likely felt relaxed and at ease. The person made you feel important, and they sincerely wanted to learn more. At the same time, you have probably also experienced this from the other side of the spectrum. In those situations, you may have experienced some anxiety and felt lacking in information, unimportant, and undervalued. Perhaps you were bored and not interested. Engaging communication is magnetic. It has a positive impact on others. So, how do you ensure that your communication is engaging? Practice these seven steps to become a more engaging communicator:

1. Listen More

Have you ever heard the saying, "We have two ears and one mouth"? That question is a gentle reminder that helps us focus on what is important. It also helps us realize that we should listen more than we talk. An important trick to utilize when communicating with others is to listen more. Listening is an essential supervisor skill, and it's critical to healthy relationships. Too often, many supervisors are only half listening and just waiting for their chance to speak. When your attention is on your thoughts and comments, you are not listening. Listen with the intent to understand the other person, even if you disagree with what they say. If you want to become a more engaging communicator, you should practice intentional listening.


2. Show Enthusiasm

Have you ever met a highly engaging person that wasn't enthusiastic or passionate about a special interest? The answer is likely "NO." A supervisor should be excited when communicating with their team. Enthusiasm involves more than just the tone of your voice or the use of your eyes and hands. Enthusiastic communication means knowing all the facts on a given subject before you start talking. An engaging communicator uses descriptive imagery and humor when speaking. They find the good in things and keep the negative out. Over time, deliberate enthusiasm will become an integral part of your personality. As a supervisor, take steps to start actively showing spirit in the workplace. It will help you become a more engaging communicator.


3. Exude Confidence 

Can you recall when a supervisor came off as cocky or a know-it-all? If so, were you engaged in the conversation or so put off that you blocked out what was said? Effective supervisors understand that they need to have confidence, but at the same time, they mustn't come off as arrogant. Your team wants to know that you are intelligent; at the same time, they need reassurance that you care about them and their wants and needs. An engaging communicator knows how to communicate confidently while also ensuring they aren't perceived as "vain."  


4. Be Authentic

Can you sniff out "fake" a mile away? When trying to make a good impression, we tend to fit the mold of what we think others expect of us. That usually comes off as a sham. When you try to impress others or fit their mold, you won't sustain their interest very long. Instead, focus on being yourself and being sincere. An authentic supervisor is congruent, meaning their words align with their nonverbal communication. A supervisor skill that you should learn to embrace is becoming authentic. It will undoubtedly help your communications become more engaging.


5. Demonstrate Trust 

If you want your peers to trust you, you must trust them. Demonstrating trust is an effective tool that supervisors utilize when exhibiting engaging communications. The single most important way to earn the trust of others is to follow through with your promises. An important supervisor skill is giving others the benefit of the doubt. If you do that, they will return the favor. This principle of reciprocity works its magic when earning the trust of others in the workplace. To have engaging communication, you must first establish complete trustworthiness.


6. Be Open and Flexible   

Have you ever felt rejected when speaking up and sharing your opinion? Supervisors should understand that they need to be open-minded and listen when people talk. Everything people say or do expresses an underlying need or value. When supervisors are open and empathetic rather than defensive, their employees and colleagues feel better understood. Engaging communicators are approachable and willing to consider other perspectives and points of view. Often, supervisors can come across as self-absorbed when trying to establish credibility. An engaging communicator must be flexible and ready to adapt in real-time.


7. Utilize All Forms of Communication 

If you want to become a more engaging communicator, you should consider multiple avenues of communication - including written and non-verbal communication. We express things through our body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. These nonverbal clues are recognized and understood by others. Consider using technology and visual aids to help you create engaging written communication. Ensure that the tools you use have a clear and relevant relationship to the information you are trying to communicate. Supervisors should consider multiple nonverbal techniques to ensure their communications are engaging.


Practicing and mastering all of these steps will take some time. Have patience and try to focus on one or two at a time. Then, slowly add others so that you aren't overwhelmed. In the end, the payoff will be worth the effort. Learning how to become an engaging communicator will go a long way in the workplace.  


Ready to take the next step? Learn more about becoming an engaged leader with AEU LEAD.

Our mission at AEU LEAD is to enable transformation. For those wanting to transform through the development of soft skills for supervisors and managers, we’re here to help. AEU LEAD strengthens organizations and empowers managers with leadership and safety training tailored to your business. Explore our services or talk with our team to learn more.

The opinions and comments expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of ALMA, The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., AEU LEAD or Amwins. None of the aforementioned parties or the authors are responsible for any inaccuracy of content or for any loss or damages incurred by any party as a result of reliance on information contained in this article. Content may not be published or reproduced without the written consent of the authors. Prior articles may not be updated for accuracy as pertinent information changes over time. The AEU LEAD blog is intended to provide general information and should not be construed as legal advice.
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