The Good Men Project: Managers, Err on the Side of Too Much Communication

17 Oct 2022
A boss who bombards you with communication may be frustrating, but one who leaves you in the dark may come off as uncaring, research finds.

Originally found at The Good Men Project

That’s the key finding from a new study that examines how employees perceive managers who assume that less is more when it comes to communicating at work.

After reviewing thousands of 360-degree leadership assessments in MBA and executive education classes, Francis Flynn notes that complaints about managers’ communication were common, and often harsh.

“More than just about any other leadership skill, people are fiercely criticized for poor communication,” says Flynn, a professor of organizational behavior at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. “The higher up you get, the more brutal that criticism becomes.”

Noting this, he and doctoral candidate Chelsea Lide saw an opportunity to examine the quantity and quality of communication between managers and the people they supervise.

In a recent paper, Flynn and Lide examine the concept of “communication calibration.” They find that employees often see their leaders miscalibrating the amount they communicate. Indeed, they write, “leaders are often seen by their employees as undercommunicating rather than overcommunicating.”

Continue reading the original article at The Good Men Project.

Read the original research in Academy of Management Journal.

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary.

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