Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

How to Strengthen Managerial Relationships

Managers don’t need to be good listeners — they need to be great listeners. Whether direct reports want to take on additional job responsibilities or report a serious organizational irregularity, they want to be comfortable approaching a manager, and be assured he or she is not only willing to listen but is willing to act on what is expressed. Further, a great manager takes ideas and feedback from everyone on the team, not just the highest-ranking or most engaged employees. A great manager also brings the most valuable feedback to senior management, ensuring it is not left by the wayside.

If an employee suggestion cannot be passed on to senior leadership, managers should thank their direct reports for the recommendation and explain why it cannot be carried out. Encouraging their direct reports to offer feedback and letting them know their ideas matter demonstrates that managers want and expect their employees to contribute to organizational success. As a result, employees will feel more engaged.

Managers need to be willing and able to hear employees’ thoughts in person. Although today’s managers are increasingly strapped for time, they should maintain an open door policy. Such a policy will demonstrate a manager’s intention to listen to his or her direct reports’ suggestions and grievances.

In the course of building trust and strengthening relationships, it’s likely managers will be exposed to employees’ non-work-related problems. They need to be willing to listen and express their concern for such problems, but they should avoid providing personal advice. Effective managers are great listeners, coaches and communicators, not therapists.

Delivering Effective Feedback
Whether in the form of a compliment or even a critique, employees are always looking for managerial feedback. Regular feedback gives employees the chance to engage, correct their mistakes and improve performance. It also gives employees an idea of what they are doing well and how to continue to produce desired outcomes.


Rebuilding Trust After Layoffs

The distance separating managers and their direct reports can be the biggest productivity and performance drain in an organization.

Article Keywords:   leadership   management  


Related Articles



5 Learning Strategy Essentials for 2014
April 22nd 2:00pm - 3:00pm ET

Breakfast Clubs

2014 CLO Breakfast Club, Philadelphia
May 1st - 1st, 2014Hyatt at The Bellevue


Fall 2014 CLO Symposium
October 6th - 8th, 2014Park Hyatt Aviara

From the Network

Twitter Updates