Top 3 English Communication Skills at Work to Lead with Impact

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Grow your leadership skills with these English communication strategies to be a better leader and manager to communicate with more influence. Greg and I discuss three important ways to help you scale your impact and lead confidently in English language settings.

00:00:00:05 - 00:00:37:24
Mary Daphne
Hi everyone. Welcome back to this advanced English conversation. I am joined today by the one and only Greg. So thank you for joining me today. Greg. We are going to talk about some of the most effective ways of being a good manager. Now, why is this important? Well, even if you don't have manager as your job title or you're not in a managerial role per se, there are still elements of managing that we all do, right, because all of us are leaders in our own way.

00:00:38:02 - 00:01:01:18
Mary Daphne
So the skills that we're going to be sharing and the insights we're going to be providing will help you if you're already the manager and also if you are aspire to be in a more leadership role like a manager, for example, or honestly, whatever job you're doing, there are aspects of the role where you are going to be managing.

00:01:01:27 - 00:01:17:03
Mary Daphne
All right. So I think that provides some context for our conversation today. So if you're ready, grab a warm beverage and maybe a pen and paper or just get in the zone with this conversation and listen attentively. All right. Let's get into it.

00:01:25:06 - 00:01:41:25
Mary Daphne
All right, Greg, so we've both been managers and here are three skills important. I would even say essential skills that every manager should have and then also hone.

00:01:42:15 - 00:01:44:14
Greg
All right. I'm ready for it. Okay.

00:01:44:14 - 00:02:14:05
Mary Daphne
So the first one is prioritization. So you may know what priorities are, right? So that's the general gist of this first big skill. So what does that mean? Well, are you able to identify what are the most important things to accomplish, tasks to do, actions to take that require immediate attention?

00:02:15:02 - 00:02:38:25
Greg
Yeah. And not necessarily immediate attention. Right. So prioritization is about figuring out what is immediate and what isn't right. It's about understanding the difference between something that's urgent. Yes. Versus something that can wait until later. And this is essential in business, of course, because in a business context, you only have limited resources. Right. So if you had.

00:02:38:29 - 00:02:42:04
Mary Daphne
A two minute timeline. Right, this is all constraints, right?

00:02:42:04 - 00:03:07:29
Greg
So resources can be time. They can be money. Yeah. But the fact is, you have them if you had unlimited resources, you could do everything at once. Which means if you had unlimited staff with unlimited time and resources. Right, you could attack all the problems at once, but you don't. And as an individual, this is even more relevant because, you know, unless you're lucky enough to have a personal assistant or family office, most of us don't.

00:03:08:08 - 00:03:30:08
Greg
You know, it's just us. It's just ourselves. And, you know, if you're lucky, you have a helpful spouse. Yeah, but, you know, you really have to focus on prioritization because you have 24 hours in a day. A lot of that goes to sleeping, exercise, exercising, eating, eating. If you have a job, you're working. So there's very little time to get the other parts of your day done.

00:03:30:18 - 00:03:52:04
Greg
And that's why prioritization is so important, because you have to decide, you know, should I, I don't know, do the laundry or should I go pick up the groceries? Or should I learn this new skill? What am I going to do? And, you know, that's where prioritization really becomes essential.

00:03:52:09 - 00:04:16:04
Mary Daphne
Exactly. And so one way to discover what your priorities are, not just in life, but let's say in the work context, because that's the scope, excuse me of this conversation today. More of the business setting here. The way you can figure that out is, well, are there any immediate fires I need to extinguish or put out? What are the fires that need to be put out?

00:04:16:17 - 00:04:37:03
Mary Daphne
So that's one thing. If there's a pressing thing that needs your immediate attention, you know that that's high priority and you're going to take it. But it could also entail aspects of a project that cannot continue unless such and such is done right. In order to do why you need to do X right.

00:04:37:03 - 00:04:55:00
Greg
These are called blockers, right? And that's a good way to determine how urgent a problem is. Is it something that eventually needs to get fixed or is it something that's preventing the team from moving forward at all? And obviously, if is preventing the team from moving forward, it's not just you who's been impacted, it's everyone on the team.

00:04:55:07 - 00:05:16:05
Greg
And potentially it's also the customers of that product or any of the stakeholders for that matter, getting impacted by it. And it could cause the timeline to go off. So the blockers are definitely the highest priority thing that you want to attack and what the blockers are for. You can spend a little more time being more strategic about how to address the other remaining tasks, right?

00:05:16:05 - 00:05:48:02
Mary Daphne
So what needs to be done in order to move the project forward? In order to move the needle forward? Right. Yeah. So addressing the blockers and then it also comes down to timeline, right? If you have your budget and you have your scope and your scale and all of that that you've thought about in the beginning of coming together with the, you know, the team members and the stakeholders and figuring out what is essential, then that's also going to be very clear as well in terms of what your priorities are because you have a set date.

00:05:48:09 - 00:06:15:13
Mary Daphne
Right. So if you're doing a sprints and typically sprints can be 1 to 4 weeks, but generally they are around two weeks. Right. If you're in a sprint and you're what's a sprint iterating. So this is part of the Agile framework and it's a mindset that we have an agile mindset, meaning you're flexible, you are collaborate and you're, you know, everyone knows what they're doing on the team and you know, things are very clear.

00:06:15:18 - 00:06:44:17
Mary Daphne
You're going to meet up and you're going to do sprints and so those are typically two weeks and that is an iteration. So you have multiple iterations and that means multiple rounds. So there are a lot of check in points along the way and this is a great topic that we can definitely dove into as well. But let's say you're on a sprint then you know that you need to prioritize what's going to go on for that sprint to be successful.

00:06:44:29 - 00:07:07:12
Greg
Yeah, what I like about that is it's breaking it down into component parts because there are multiple sprints right as a part of a project. And what's really nice is that the structure that you're just describing helps break a project down into multiple priorities and you focus on each one. And part of the challenge, of course, is figuring out which how to order those sprints, which sprint is first, which sprint is next.

00:07:07:12 - 00:07:33:20
Mary Daphne
Exactly. And that's a conversation that you come together with your team and discuss. Right? Who are the stakeholders that need to be involved? Who are the task masters? Right. Who are the people who need to help you along the way? Right. That's going to be a team. And so that's an important part of it because everyone, you know, wants to show up motivated, they want to show up, ready to work and enjoy the work.

00:07:33:20 - 00:07:50:23
Mary Daphne
That's another very important part of this. But of course, this is more about how to build good teams and we can talk about that as well. But the second skill that I think we should talk about is delegation. So what is delegation? Right. You want to share that?

00:07:50:29 - 00:07:54:28
Greg
Well, we talked earlier about resource constraints.

00:07:54:28 - 00:07:55:15
Mary Daphne
Yes.

00:07:55:15 - 00:08:03:19
Greg
Right. And one of the resources constraints, probably the foremost resource constraint is time, time. Write your time.

00:08:03:24 - 00:08:04:04
Mary Daphne
Back.

00:08:04:05 - 00:08:08:12
Greg
You can't get it back. And and each of us only has so much of it.

00:08:08:15 - 00:08:09:15
Mary Daphne
And you can't buy it.

00:08:09:16 - 00:08:35:10
Greg
You can't buy it. And so what that really means is you can't do everything yourself, right? No individual can do everything themselves. And so therefore you must delegate the work to more people. You don't have to, but if you are able to delegate the work to more people, you can have different aspects of the task. Or the project happened in parallel, right?

00:08:35:10 - 00:08:51:24
Greg
They can. They can you can start to make progress in parallel. And that means you can complete a project much more efficiently, right, in less time because you've delegated the work. So that's why delegation is so important. It essentially lets you get more done in a finite amount of time.

00:08:51:27 - 00:09:19:24
Mary Daphne
That's right. So what you're doing is you're deciding how to delegate and what to delegate and when to delegate. So delegating means you are giving responsibilities to different people on the team. You are allocating tasks to different team members based on their own skill sets. So for example, if you have someone who's really good at design on your team, you're going to give them something design related.

00:09:20:00 - 00:09:53:21
Mary Daphne
You're not going to give them something engineering related, you're going to give them engineering related tasks to the engineer, right? The software developer, for example. So it's really being aware of people's strengths, people's weaknesses. And this is what is part and parcel of what makes a good manager, because they know their team and they know the skills and they know what might be a stretch project, meaning a project that gets someone out of their comfort zone, which is also really important from a professional development standpoint, which is key.

00:09:54:00 - 00:09:57:18
Mary Daphne
So delegation is extremely important.

00:09:57:27 - 00:10:24:07
Greg
Yeah, that's a fantastic point. I really like how you tied in the importance of of knowing the capabilities of your team. Right. That is essential to delegation because delegation is only as effective as the people to whom you've delegated the work. Right. If you if you've improperly delegated the work to people who aren't qualified for that work, you know, you could you could basically cause the project to take even longer.

00:10:24:07 - 00:10:29:03
Greg
Yes. It certainly go off track. So yeah, that's just a terrific point that you made. Yeah.

00:10:29:09 - 00:10:58:10
Mary Daphne
So it's something to keep in mind. And again, the way you learn what people are good at is by talking to them. Right. Cannot emphasize emphasize enough. See, I got all excited about the next topic because you know, it's very important, the next skill is you have to communicate, right? And so that's why communication is another very important skill to being a good manager and even, you know, Greg talked about this before in the beginning about managing your own life.

00:10:58:18 - 00:11:17:24
Mary Daphne
You also need these three skills to manage your own life, to manage your own day, which everyone is responsible for. Right, even if you're in a managerial role or not. So in the work context, being really aware of how you are communicating and what you are communicating is essential.

00:11:18:09 - 00:11:41:10
Greg
Yeah, communication is at the heart of an effective team because the way a team works, right? It needs to be coordinated, right? And in order to be coordinated, you need that communication. You need to know what your other teammates are up to so that you're not overlapping in the work that you're doing. Yes. You need to make sure that you're aligned on a vision on on that common goal.

00:11:41:21 - 00:12:09:27
Greg
Right. That requires communication, understanding, you know, which direction everyone's headed in. You also need to communicate expectations. Right. What what kind of standards are you setting for the team? What what's the level of product of finished, you know, of Polish that's that's expected at the at the end of the sprint or at the project itself. All of that requires communication and ideally it requires communication at the start.

00:12:10:06 - 00:12:14:10
Greg
And also, you know, on a continuing basis throughout the project.

00:12:14:14 - 00:12:41:24
Mary Daphne
Yeah, absolutely. So if you're doing, you know, you have a project, you're doing a sprint. It's not uncommon to check in with your team every day. And it might sound like a lot like, oh, really checking in, communicating with them every day. But it is so vital to the health of the project and the longevity of the project and being able to complete the project to fruition and end up with the products such as a deliverable.

00:12:41:24 - 00:13:12:00
Mary Daphne
Right. Or, you know, some something that you have to show for that project. Right. So when you're communicating, be as transparent as possible, right? You're being crystal clear with your goals and objectives and the shared vision that you have with the stakeholders and the team members and really just, you know, communicating in an authentic way. And as authentic as you can in everyone's authentic way of communicating is going to be different because we're all different, right?

00:13:12:09 - 00:13:22:28
Mary Daphne
So it's tied to the individual. So keeping in mind different communication styles, right. And to whom are you communicating and keeping in mind, though, their communication styles?

00:13:22:28 - 00:13:46:18
Greg
Yeah, I think that part's really important, right? Having that empathy for the people that you're communicating with can ensure that effective communication, right? Putting yourself in their shoes, making sure that you're respectful of the tone of the conversation. Right. Really is essential to ensuring that they receive the message. Yeah. And that they actually feel invested the way you do.

00:13:46:29 - 00:14:17:23
Mary Daphne
That's right. Right. And getting everyone on the same page. Yeah. So making sure that you have done, you've crossed all your t's and dotted all your eyes. It's very important, particularly if you're leading a team or you're managing, you know, several people. It's a good thing to be aware of. So practice these three different skills. We talked about prioritization delegation and communication, and we can dove into more depth if you would like.

00:14:18:00 - 00:14:45:22
Mary Daphne
So feel free to leave a comment. Send us a message, let us know what your thoughts are and how are you managing? How are you managing in your work roles? How are you managing in in life in general? Right. Let us know. We love hearing from you. And on that note, be sure that you're subscribed. Be sure that you are sharing these lessons and these conversations with people you think would really benefit for them.

00:14:46:12 - 00:15:08:23
Mary Daphne
And if you're listening on the podcast, then we would love to have a review from you if you can leave a nice review, that would be great, and you can leave up to five stars, which really helps us out because it gets the podcast out to more people who need it. And that's what we're all about helping each other, helping everyone that we can, and building a better, brighter world right together.

00:15:08:24 - 00:15:29:25
Mary Daphne
So. All right. Thank you for joining me, Greg. And we're going to see you all in another advanced English life for now.