Today we’re wrapping up a four-part series on the four fundamentals to being a great manager, and this fourth fundamental is managing communications. A lot of people think maybe it’s the most important fundamental. Communications can happen in a lot of different ways. Someone can communicate to you by dictating a set of rules, directing you to do something, telling you to do something, etc. While sometimes this needs to be done, it’s not necessarily the most favorable way to communicate with someone else and build a team.

So what is the most favorable way of communicating, you ask? Conversation. Just a little conversation, going back and forth where each person is participating in the process. Think about it, your most positive relationships revolve around conversation, not being dictated to. This is why it’s important that you apply this principle in your management style as well.

The 80/20 Rule

When you think about an entire conversation that happens between you and one of your team members, I want you to think of it this way. You should be talking 20% of the time and they should be talking 80% of the time. In order to facilitate that, the 20% of the time that you’re talking should mostly be questions. You can help lead someone, teach them, and help them to discover something that they need to know by asking a series of questions. Why would we do that? When we ask a question–an open-ended question–we give the other person an opportunity to talk because we want them to do the bulk of the talking. We can read and understand whether or not they get what we’re communicating to them. The biggest thing to asking a question to someone else and listening to them to talk, however, is that it requires them to think.

Make Them Think

One of the biggest frustrations for employers is that they feel like their employees don’t think. They feel like their team members aren’t thinking for themselves or taking ownership of their role. Why is that? It’s because you dictate to them and tell them what to do. They’re not going to think because you aren’t requiring them to. If you start asking the right questions, you can help them to discover the right answers for themselves. In turn, they’ll take better ownership of their job and run with it. Guide their thought process to where they take ownership so they can grow, learn, and take their job to the next level.

Simply apply these communication rules to your management style and watch what happens. Thanks so much for much for visiting. Check out my other videos for more ideas on how to break through and reach the next level in your business. And, if you like this video, please subscribe.