How are you feeling?
How stressed are you?
How is this affecting your behaviour?
These questions may contain the key to understanding why your behavior when communicating as a manager can have a big impact on the success of your team.
The Contagious Nature of Behaviour
Throughout my career, I’ve strongly believed in the saying, “Behaviour Breeds Behaviour.” It’s a mantra I frequently emphasise in my workshops designed for managers focused on effective communication and team motivation.
What comes to mind when you think about a previous manager? Negative behaviours frequently make a lasting impact Due to emotions and feelings, it is proven that human beings tend to remember negative occurrences more vividly than positive events.
Clifford Nass, a professor of communication at Stanford University would agree with my last paragraph. He states, “Some people do have a more positive outlook, but almost everyone remembers negative things more strongly and in more detail.”
There are physiological as well as psychological reasons for this. “The brain handles positive and negative information in different hemispheres,” said Professor Nass, who co-authored ‘The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships’ (Penguin 2010).
“Negative emotions generally involve more thinking, and the information is processed more thoroughly than positive ones”, he said. “Thus, we tend to ruminate more about unpleasant events — and use stronger words to describe them— than happy ones.”
In thinking about this, a manager’s behaviour plays a crucial role in shaping the overall dynamics and success of a team. Positive and supportive behaviours tend to lead to a more productive and harmonious work environment, whereas negative behaviours can have detrimental effects on morale, motivation, and collaboration.
Therefore, it is essential for managers to be aware of their behaviour and its impact on their team members and strive to cultivate behaviours that promote a healthy and productive work environment.
Here are 3 Main Reasons why a manager’s behaviour when communicating affects the team:
1. Work Environment and Morale
A manager sets the tone for the work environment. When a manager behaves in a positive, supportive, and respectful manner, it elevates team morale and fosters a more pleasant workplace.
On the other hand, if a manager displays negative behaviours, such as micromanagement, favouritism, or rudeness, it can create a toxic work atmosphere that demoralises team members. Low morale can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates, all of which can negatively impact team performance and organisational success.
During my early years in the corporate world, I encountered a consistently negative manager. She had the habit of making subtle, yet pervasive, negative comments that often went unnoticed until they were aimed at you. You could cut the atmosphere. There were times when I hoped she wouldn’t come near me, as I knew it would negatively affect me.
2. Motivation and Engagement
A manager’s behaviour directly influences the motivation and engagement levels of team members. When a manager provides clear expectations, recognises and rewards achievements, and shows genuine interest in the professional growth of their team members, it can motivate them to perform at their best. Conversely, if a manager is unresponsive, indifferent, or critical without providing constructive feedback, it can lead to demotivation, disengagement, and decreased performance.
I had a manager who inspired and supported me in my first role in training. We had such a close team because we all felt more motivated and engaged, encouraging each other when challenges came in our way.
3. Team Collaboration
Effective teamwork is essential for achieving organisational goals. A manager’s behaviour can either enhance or hinder collaboration. Managers who promote open communication and resolve conflicts constructively can create a positive team environment where members feel comfortable sharing ideas, working together, and addressing challenges collectively.
Conversely, managers who exhibit favouritism, or foster a culture of competition among team members can damage trust and hinder collaboration. This is because team members may become focused on individual success rather than working together to achieve common objectives.
Let’s relate this to your current situation. I want you to think about the following questions:
- How are you speaking and behaving towards others?
- Are you using positive body language and words?
- How are you communicating when you are stressed?
- What can you do to be more interactive in a positive manner?
- How can you communicate to be more inclusive?
The management style and behaviour have the ability to influence a team’s success. A manager may create a great work atmosphere, encourage and engage your team, and foster collaboration by being attentive to behaviours and communication. Keep in mind that “Behaviour Breeds Behaviour.” As a manager, you have the unique opportunity to set a good example and inspire your team to succeed.
If you’re interested in learning more about strategies for enhancing your management behaviour and communication style to foster positive mental health and productivity within your team, schedule a Strategy Call with me here and I will be happy to assist you.
As managers, mastering effective communication means possessing the skills to reduce tension and transform conflicts into catalysts for growth and collaboration. If you’re eager to unlock the secrets of turning conflicts into opportunities, don’t miss out on an exclusive opportunity.
Join me for a Free Masterclass on 25th October, Wednesday, at 12:30 PM UK Time, where I’ll share “Three Proven Strategies for Managers to Radically Reduce Conflict and Tension in Your Team.” For more details, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.