Fluency is not enough for a Manager

In this blog, I will talk about why more than fluency is needed for managers to become good communicators.

Srihari Udugani
4 min readMar 13, 2024
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Many young managers sometimes need to be made aware that their fluency in English or any other language they use professionally is insufficient to be a good communicator.

Speaking well in a language is not enough to convince someone. Be it Senior Management or the Team, they must be convinced with details that they can resonate with.

As a manager, only when you can convince you can achieve what you want. For this speaking is not enough, being a good communicator is needed.

In this blog, I will talk about the impact that could occur if you don’t improve your communication skills and a few areas to focus on to become a better communicator.

The Impacts

Following are some of the impacts that you will observe if you are not communicating well.

Increased back and forth
Whenever you say something, others will nod their heads that they have understood. But they will keep coming back to you for clarifications and doubts.

This is a sign that they have not understood what you have said or they are not fully aligned on why it must be done.

Due to members coming back to you frequently, you will not be able to get time for other things in the team and you might also get confused, because of which something else will break.

More confusion among the team members on the end goal
Because your team members do not fully appreciate certain things about what you said or they do not fully understand the reason behind it or they are not sure whether something has changed or not, there will be more confusion among the team members.

Due to this confusion, the quality of the work slowly reduces and you don’t understand why it is happening.

Decisions keep getting delayed
If information is not structured well and it does not provide the reasoning behind it, then Senior management or your supervisor will not be able to make decisions.

If they are not sure why such a decision is needed, what is the context or background of it or how it will help the team or the organization, then they will not make any decision.

You might be good at speaking, but if you are not presenting the information in a way, that others can understand, the decision keeps getting delayed.

Last-minute decisions or feedback
Since you are not receiving decisions on time or you are not getting feedback from stakeholders about what you have proposed, the majority of the time will be wasted in waiting.

After several meetings and back-and-forth, somehow an alignment will be reached and you will get the required decision or feedback. But it will be too late.

Your team will now have less time to finish the work thus increasing the pressure on them. This in turn will lead to dissatisfaction in work and burn-down. This could also lead to attrition.

So what to do?

If you want to avoid some of the impacts mentioned above, then improve your communication skills.

I have listed below, 3 approaches of communication that can be utilized to become a better communicator.

Structured communication
Structure communication helps you to organize the information to create a flow that can be easily understandable by others.

Structured communication helps you break down complex topics and simplify them so that your supervisor or team members can understand them easily.

Since the information is easily understandable, however the complex topic, the decisions can be made quickly.

Storytelling is another way of communicating about your thoughts, problems, etc.

While proposing an idea or an approach, many managers make the mistake of directly jumping into the tasks, delays in completion, extra efforts that would be needed, and so on. This will not help you to send the right message to the stakeholders.

The simple thing you can do is,
- start with the purpose or importance of the milestone
- then, break down the milestone into functional blocks
- then, break down the key functional blocks into tasks
- then, mention which tasks will make that milestone a success

Action-oriented communication
This is something I have been using quite a lot. I use this kind of communication generally in emails and meetings.

The idea is to provide context, problems, or issues, then my proposal of how to resolve them, and then identify actions, like,
▪ this team member should agree to do something,
▪ this team member must do deeper research to fine-tune the approach,
▪ this peer manager should replan the activities,
▪ listing down all the dependencies that are needed to be completed,
and so on.

This becomes powerful when you need specific team members or peer managers or supervisors to perform activities that will help your team members to progress further.

Final thoughts

Communication is a very large topic and one of the key tools for managers to keep improving upon.

As a young manager don’t be under the impression that fluency in speaking is enough to communicate well.

If you are facing problems like delayed decision-making, several back-and-forths, and getting clarity or feedback almost at the last minute, then retrospect on how you are communicating.

Using structured communication, storytelling, and action-oriented communication will help you to resolve some of the communication-related issues.

Happy management!

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Further reading



Srihari Udugani

Knowledge Made Simple and Structured, Decisions Made Clear. Happy success!