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Focus on these things to succeed in First Time Manager or Supervisor

3 Ways to Improve Communication Skills



By Emilie Shoop, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting


“Communication is the largest single factor determining the kinds of relationships an individual has with others and what happens to [them] in the world around [them]. How [they manage] their survival, how [they] develop intimacy, how productive [they] are … all are largely dependent upon [their] communication skills.” ~Virginia Satir




Recently, I’ve been helping others (and myself) improve communication skills. There are so many different areas of communication that need our attention.

  • How do I word this email to get my point across correctly?
  • Is it OK to just send a text in this situation?
  • What do I do when I've voiced my needs and the other person just isn't following through on their end?
  • What is the best way to share this good news?
  • I want to make sure my clients see me as a trusted advisor, how do I make sure that is the case?

Whether you are calling, texting, emailing, or talking face to face, there are 3 areas you can work on right now, that will help improve your communication skills.



How well are you listening? Are you concentrating on what you will say next or actually paying attention to every word.

I used to have a co-worker that would very quietly listen to everything you said. Then he would take a minute or two to decide on his response. Finally, he would give you his feedback, ask a follow-up question, or whatever the case may be. At first it drove me crazy! I was either too impatient, or felt I had to fill the silence. Over time I really learned a lot about slowing down and letting the information sink in…from both sides!



Now that you are sure you are listening, how is your focus? Are you concentrating on the topic at hand? Are you letting anything else interfere with the conversation?

You all know I love, love, love my iPhone. And it really doesn't matter to me if I’m teaching a class, and you check your phone from time to time. But I cannot stand it when we are in an active discussion and your phone takes your attention away from what I am saying. Try concentrating on just the conversation at hand!

Exercise Integrity

Are you the guy everyone can count on? The go-to-gal? Or are you the one everyone knows will say you are going to do something and not follow through?

It may seem separate from your communication skills, but your integrity can improve conversations as well. If people believe in you, they will invest more into the conversation at hand.

I had a boss once that had very little integrity. The more it became clear he was not a man of his word, the less value each of our conversations had. If I asked for help, there was no confidence on my end that he would follow through or worse yet, not use it against me. Even if you are not out to be deceitful, lack of follow-through can make you look bad!


To get anything done, we have to communicate with others. One way or another, we are always communicating. Try working on these 3 areas today and see how things improve for you!


Written by Emilie Shoop
First Time Manager or Supervisor Expert for ManagingAmericans.com, Creator and Leader of Shoop Training & Consulting


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