Most business leaders communicate well with their employees

Most business leaders are “considerate communicators”, but “controlling communicators” come a close second, according to research by workplace consultancy CHA.

Only 20% of the 1,000 employees surveyed said that their company leader listened to them, and only a quarter felt that their managers presented information in a way that was relevant to them.

However, almost 40% of respondents felt that their leader was a confident communicator, and 33% said their boss invited feedback from staff.

The Straight Talking report identified four clear communication styles among senior managers typified by famous examples:

  • The considerate communicator – characterised by a sincere style and jargon-free language. Considerate communicators also keep their employees up to date with company news and invite feedback from staff. Just over one-third of staff classified their manager as a considerate communicator.
  • The controlling communicator – characterised by a cold and insincere working style and attention-seeking manner. This category, identified by one-third of respondents as describing their manager, is likely to undermine staff and only communicates with employees when things go wrong.
  • The understated communicator – cited by 17% of respondents and characterised by their low-key approach to communication and lacklustre working style.
  • The charismatic communicator – cited by just 15% of employees, renowned for their confident and assertive style and effective face-to-face communication. This category is the most likely to make staff feel motivated and committed.

Colette Hill, chief executive, of CHA, said: “This is good news for leaders weary of being straight-jacketed into a presentational style better associated with evangelism than business management. The message is clear: leaders must communicate more frequently and directly with their employees, in a way that is open and frank, to strengthen their respect and loyalty.”

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