Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Creating Balance

With any transition, training/education and timely technological support are key. As a manager, you may have to act as the go-between for employees and other departments.

In the thick of daily routines, it may be difficult to identify the real communication climate of a department. A real assessment can reveal strengths and weaknesses. Once those are defined, they can be worked on and made a priority when trying to improve overall performance. Ask yourself if it’s more healthy to say “This is the way we do things, so deal with it,” or “This is the way we do things. How can I help you be most successful?” Giving clear directives with support and follow-up will create a fundamentally strong and balanced structure.

With any transition, training/education and timely technological support are key. As a manager, you may have to act as the go-between for employees and other departments. Technological frustrations result in waning enthusiasm and productivity. A working relationship with IT will be a benefit if you’re able to get a prospective solution to tech issues.

Also, finding your own support network can keep you accountable and energized. How is communication with your manager/boss? Could it be better? Getting face time and spelling out department goals with a manager keeps you visible and benchmarks progress. Upper level management can offer bigger picture views on what’s going on throughout the company, reminding you of where your department fits in.

Compile a list of effective management tips and ideas that apply to your department and set out to act on one at least once a week. Coupled with intent and follow-through, this ongoing support will serve as a reminder to purposefully seek out ways to influence communication outcomes. For example, the Dale Carnegie blog offers up 10 Ways to Stay on Track as an Effective Team (blog.dalecarnegie.com/leadership/10-ways-to-stay-on-track-as-an-effective-team). Simple guidance, such as frequent, open communication and giving honest, regular feedback, is a good reminder of positive actions.

Make a goal to research one area of your field every week or month. Know the publications and sources that cater to your industry and find out about current and projected trends. An interest with the industry at large will show employees you see beyond the office and are considering where the department is and where it’s headed.

The next article in this series will focus on rehabilitating negative communication habits, effective emailing and the importance of sticking to an agenda in a meeting.