Monday, January 28, 2013

Leadership Communication Abilities Leads to Trust and Performance

Communication between employee and employers can have a compelling impact on the nature of business and the overall success of employee trust. Through these positive relationships between managers and employees higher levels of shared interest and commitment to organizational principles can be formed. The development of such benefits rests in how managers communicate their expectations and the openness of the employee to hearing those messages.

Managerial communication can take the form of downward, horizontal, or upward momentum through both formal and informal communication methods (Bell and Martin, 2008). The openness to share ideas, needs, and values allows for a stronger depth of mutual experiences. It is through these relationships and shared experiences that organizations can develop higher levels of positive affectivity toward the business imperatives.

Such concepts are set in the underlining premises of the employee and management group understandings.  Communication is the lifeblood of employee and organizational performance. According to Katz and Kahn (1966) it is communication that is fundamental to the forming of any group, organization, or society. A group is based upon the trust of shared understandings that define collective action and its benefits to the organization.

Before effective communication can be developed it should be understood that the authority to communicate does not necessarily rely in the person doing the talking. According to Barnard (1968) the authority of the communication doesn’t lay in with the person of authority but with the person who is being addressed.  People make the fundamental choice to give or take the authority away from their manager (Drucker, 1974). Testy labor issues are often a result of internal noise that blocks alternative and positive messages of managers.

It is the personal management style of the person in authority that can help limit the distracting aspects of this internal noise and variance of perspective. The success or failure of transferring attitudes and values is a byproduct of the leadership style that seeks the ability to foster the change (Appelbaum, Berke, Taylor & Vazquez, 2008). Such leaders are seen as positive, humanistic, empathetic, and have a wider range of concern beyond oneself. It is through this genuine positive approach that employee begin to see the managers issues, concerns, and messages as worth listening to, interpreting, and implementing.

The advantages of creating trust through positive communication approaches cannot be underestimated. The loyalty that can be fostered through open communication has been known to increase productivity across an organization by 11% (Mayfield, 2002). This financial incentive should prompt organizational leaders to consider the positive benefits of training their management team in developing positive relationships that further strengthen underlining premises of positive group behavior that leads to higher overall performance.

Appelbaum, S., Berke, J., Taylor, J., & Vazquez, A. (2008). The role of leadership during large scale organizational transitions: Lessons from six empirical studies. Journal of American Academy of Business, 13(1), 16-24.

Barnard, C. (1968). The functions of the executive. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Bell, R. & Martin, J. (2008). The promise of managerial communication as a field of research. International Journal of Business and Public Administration, 5(2), 125-142.

Drucker, P. (1974). Management: Tasks, responsibilities and practices. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.

Katz, D. & Kahn, R. (1966). The social psychology of organizations. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Mayfield, J., & Mayfield, M. (2002). Leader Communication Strategies Critical Paths to Improving Employee Commitment. American Business Review, 20(2), 89-93.

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