Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Are You a Leader or a Manager? Part 1

3 Part Series on Leaders VS Managers

This is the first of a three part series that focuses on the difference between being a leader versus being a manager.

Part 1: Communication

When communicating with employees and other co-workers, your approach, tone, and the words you use help define what type of supervisor you are, a leader or a manager.

  • Managers have a tendency to say one thing, but their nonverbal cues (body language and facial expressions) say another. This creates a feeling of mistrust from the listener. Leaders strive to always match their nonverbal cues to their words; when they do so, they are more believable and trustworthy.
  • An effective communicator has the ability to adapt the way he or she is talking based on their audience. A manager tends communicate the same way with the same pitch, tone, and choice of words to all of their audiences. Leaders have the ability and awareness to adapt their communication each time they talk with a different person or audience. This type of communication generates a feeling of trust, respect, and is much more effective.
  • Hearing versus listening. Managers hear everything that is being said, but they don’t listen to the person doing the talking. Active listening is critically important in any verbal communication. Leaders are active listeners and focus on both the verbal and nonverbal language of the speaker. Active listening involves concentrating only on the speaker and ignoring outside interruptions, including the listener's own wandering thoughts or possible responses. Active listeners also refrain from interrupting, give the speaker time to finish, show they are listening by doing things like nodding or smiling, and reflect or paraphrase back to verify their understanding.

Your ability to communicate with others is the first step in determining if you are a leader or a manager. What type of supervisor do you want to be?